As Russian aggression has escalated over the past few weeks, culminating in a full-on invasion, many in the audience have been asking why so many right-wingers in America appear to have an affinity for Vladimir Putin. The truth is that Putin is an authoritarian leader who resents free elections and a free press. This is true of the American right-wing as well, as many of them were supportive of overturning the 2020 election so that Donald Trump could stay in power and many decry reporting that upsets them as “fake news.”
The Russian leader also has a view on the subjugation of women and LGBT folks that is similar to Republicans today. Fueling all of this is four years of a Trump presidency where Putin was praised at every turn by the leader of the Republican Party, even siding with him over US intelligence agencies. All of these factors create a perfect storm explaining why so many on the right, at least up until the invasion of Ukraine, have liked what Vladimir Putin is doing.
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