It is obvious that Democrats view Russia as some sort of enemy. This classification is inaccurate, because the United States is not officially at war with any country, and I don’t believe Russia has made any legitimate threats against our nation.
Admittedly, this bluster has existed for years, but arguments have often been about the dispute over Crimea, which is understandable historically. I submit that the reason for the Democrats’ hatred of Russia is far more basic.
But it wasn’t always that way. From the time Vladimir Lenin consolidated power after the Revolution of 1917 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the American left treated the USSR like it was a sacred presence on the world’s stage. This respect rapidly increased with the advent of the Cold War. Most of the progressive left warned against doing anything that could offend the USSR.
There were exceptions, especially with the emergence of anti-communist liberals led by Hubert Humphrey in the post-war, but most progressives cautioned against any confrontation with the Soviet bloc. Attempts to address the presence of communists in American institutions—especially government—were greeted with howls of derision and indignation.
There was a simple dirty little secret: Communism, along with all the other forms of socialism, has always been progressivism’s philosophic brother. They are cut from the same ideological cloth and share the belief that government is superior to the individual.
This was apparent from the get-go. After Lenin’s consolidation of power, western progressives began a series of pilgrimages to capitals of Government Almighty such as communist Russia and fascist Italy. They returned awed at what they had seen. Lincoln Steffens, the muckraking journalist, famously gushed, “I have seen the future and it works.” Some years later, they reacted similarly with Joseph Stalin.
Progressives ignored the overt evidence of widespread suppression and killings. Most estimates I’ve read put Soviet communism’s body count between 30 and 50 million.
The Soviet Union was also relentlessly atheistic and persecuted all religions, especially Roman Catholicism. Soviet leaders only tolerated Russian Orthodoxy after it had been infiltrated and neutralized as a power, an ally of the state. As Benito Mussolini said, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” The government was to be everything to the people.
Progressives, too, despise religion, the “opiate of the masses,” as Karl Marx derisively declared. You must turn to government, not God, for the relief of any human suffering. Government is to replace God.
All this leads to the ultimate point of Russia’s offense to progressives. Not only has the country rejected communism, it has also turned to God. Though he once served as a Soviet KGB officer, Russian president Vladimir Putin is now spearheading the re-Christianization of Russia. These are offenses on a level with heresy, apostasy and blasphemy to liberals. This explains their hostility. Putin’s Russia stands as a wholesale rejection of progressives’ religion of Man, The Church of Government. That is why the Democrats hate Russia.
It is important to realize that Christianity’s and Judaism’s principles are the same. The basic disagreement is over Jesus and messiahship. Jews and Christians turn to God, not man, for guidance and salvation. They worship Abraham’s God, who is nurturing, forgiving and guiding.
Socialism cannot permit people turning to anything but the government. Consequently, Judaism and Christianity must be destroyed. Anti-Catholicism has been described as liberalism’s anti-Semitism. That is true, but traditional Judaism is on liberals’ list of targets because it embodies Catholicism’s principles.
One need only contemplate that progressivism’s first order of business is for government to take over education, then welfare and healthcare, to know this. This has been the pattern in most socialist countries, such as Sweden and the United Kingdom. These systems previously fell under the jurisdiction of religious bodies. Progressivism wants them for itself.
It is no accident that progressives attend church far less than conservatives do; it is no accident that their response to requests for charity is that they give at work—they truly believe they do through taxes. Government is the God of progressivism! Thou shalt have no God before it.
Progressives’ hatred of Putin’s Russia makes sense once you understand these things. Indeed, that’s the biggest reason they hate Russia, because under Vladimir Putin, Russia has rejected their God, their values and their Church: the Religion of Government.
Beaman is a New York-born now living in Jacksonville. He describes his political views as libertarian.