So, USA, you just had to get the last word in. Let’s recap: in a desperate appeal to the American people, President Vladimir Putin writes an op-ed published in the New York Times trying to talk some sense into the war-mongering attitude that was being presented by the elected officials.
But, it just wasn’t acceptable that some ex-KGB dictator from across the way should try to stop a war that America was hell bent on following through with—regardless of it being unnecessary and unpopular. Not to mention that the pieces were stacked pretty heavily on the side of that little strike being the catalyst of the Third World War.
Because of that, you just couldn’t keep your mouth shut, and instead, John McCain, United States senator and poker enthusiast, took it upon himself to tell Russia everything that was wrong with their leader.
McCain starts off his op-ed, published in Pravda, by just flat-out attacking Putin and his administration, something that Putin himself was classy enough to avoid. Even when talking to a people whose government is floundering in the face of big government, domestic spying, two-party partisanship, crippling debt and a generally dimmer American Dream.
That attack continues throughout the entire narrative. Actually, “continues” isn’t the right word since it might imply he actually talks about something else in his tirade. No, the entire article is his slamming of Putin and desperately putting him down. It shouldn’t be a surprise though, considering that character assassination is the favorite tactic of our elected officials when they don’t have anything of substance to say.
McCain says “They don’t respect your dignity or accept your authority over them,” and that they “Control your media…to perpetuate their power.” He’s so quick to highlight the accomplishments of whistleblower Sergei Magnistsky, when McCain himself has condemned domestic leaks, which were exposing similar crimes by our ruling administration.
He preaches doctrines of a government that “benefits the many, not just the powerful few.” This coming from a man who wanted to attack another country when the people he represents resoundingly opposed it. When he’s fought for government secrecy and policies that echo the cautionary writings of George Orwell.
It’s no secret that McCain is a big critic of the Kremlin, but this is bloated self-indulgence on a geopolitical stage. Forget American exceptionalism, which Putin discussed and McCain defended—this is just reactionary. It’s not original; it’s playground antics. At best this is immature, but at worst it’s a man who knows that the attacks were true and he’s desperately trying to save face—instead it just points to the glaring hypocrisy of American politics.
By no means is Putin a saint. Yes, he’s autocratic and stands at the head of a corrupt government. He’s imprisoned those who speak out against him—punk queens Pussy Riot being at the top of that list. His policies don’t seem to give much thought to human rights, he’s repressed Chechnya, and he’s been suspected of flat-out murdering journalists, which doesn’t seem like a stretch.
But he’s also been supported by millions of Russians because under his control inflation is down, pensions are on the rise, and he’s restored Russia’s sense in pride—a pivotal marker in rebuilding the country.
John McCain has said more in this editorial about fixing Russia than he has said about fixing his own country. He’s appealing to a people while ignoring the voice of the ones he was elected to represent. He pushes agendas that are unpopular and dangerous. Why is he so concerned with the policies and problems of another country when his own is failing so miserably? So, USA?
Alex Sousa is studying journalism in UVU’s communication department. He’s serving as the managing editor at the UVU Review as well as the editor of the music blog on uvureview.com. He’s had experience working as a freelance writer and also as a copy writer at a marketing agency. Currently he’s working as the Editor-in-chief of the Utah Tech Magazine, an interactive, digital publication. He’s a Utah native who’s traveled around the world; having lived in Mexico, backpacked through Europe, studied in the Middle East and—for a time—been stranded in the Ukraine. He can be found on Facebook and he’s available on Twitter @TwoFistedSousa or by email at [email protected].