You'll Never Guess Who Vladimir Putin's Newest Fan Is

Today in his syndicated column, Pat Buchanan was prompted to lend his support to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new law prohibiting homosexual propaganda. He defends Putin’s anti-LGBT legislation and continued political persecution of LGBT rights activists. In fact, he denounces the American government and mainstream media for condemning the law, and suggests that this shows the United States can no longer distinguish between “good and evil.” This recent announcement shows that Buchanan still cannot accept diversity and inclusiveness, and has become little more than a relic of a backward and intolerant era. Buchanan was dismissed from MSNBC after a decade as a political analyst for his “racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic” writings. One wonders at this point whether he has any real affinity left for democratic politics — so his views should be taken with a grain of salt.

Buchanan claims, “Putin is trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation it had been for 1,000 years before Russia fell captive to the atheistic and pagan ideology of Marxism.” He quotes Putin directly, "The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization, and helped turn it into one of the largest world powers."

Buchanan questions why the United States is not following such a regime ourselves. Indeed, he claims the Obama administration's criticism of the new law “reveals is the distance America has traveled, morally and culturally, in a few short years, and our amnesia about who we Americans once were, and what it is we once believed.” Buchanan has made a career of announcing the imminent collapse of American civilization due to a collapse in morals.

Putin’s anti-gay legislation, effected in June, has prompted an outcry from governments and people around the world. Obama has canceled his most recent meeting with Putin, citing the new law as one of the reasons. German ministers have recently stated that the legislation shows a collapse in democratic values. The Putin antigay law has also spurred a boycott of Russian vodka across the country. The law is merely one part of an unprecedented crackdown on dissent in Putin's Russia, which we've seen as well in the country's prosecution of Pussy Riot last year.

Human Rights Watch reports that since the legislation started being debated in Parliament, there has been an increase in physical and verbal attacks against LGBT people in Russia.

But for Buchanan, the real victims here are not the LGBT Russians who are the targets of violence, torture, and intimidation on a daily basis. Drawing a comparison between Nazi-run Germany and contemporary gay pride protests, Buchanan seeks to drive a spear through what he perceives as the liberal media and the Obama administration’s defective moral values in one swoop. Buchanan implies that a return to a Christian nation, under religious values and laws, would straighten America’s moral compass, bemoaning that “we cannot no longer even agree on what is good or evil.”

By equating homosexual propaganda with racist or anti-Semitic propaganda, Buchanan ignores very real human rights abuses taking place. Instead, he makes his point on outdated, personal notions of “the Good Society,” based on traditional Christian and Catholic values.

Funny coming from a man who once warned us about the dangers of racially mixed communities and supported white supremacists.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Vanessa Ko

Vanessa is a Political Science major at McGill University. Her research interests are international development, human rights law, internet meme culture and blue cheese.

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