I strongly recommend watching this short video. I’m a Russian Occupant:
The author is Yevgeny Zhurov. According to the BBC, he is a 29-year-old freelance motion graphics designer from Russia.
He uploaded it to a YouTube channel that regularly publishes pro-Russian films. Zhurov says he created the channel, and an associated group on Russian social network Vkontakte with almost 25,000 followers. BBC Trending asked if – given the quality of the production – he or the group received funding from any official bodies. Zhurov claims not. “Nobody paid me,” he says. He borrowed the words used from Aleksei Ivanov, a 45 year old Russian writer whose work Zhurov found online, developing the film around them. “A full-scale information war is being waged against Russia. I’m just taking part in the war on Russia’s side,” he says. “My goal is high-quality pro-Russian propaganda”. The audience for the video is not the West, or the former Soviet Union, but Russians themselves. “I mainly did it for us… so that we do not forget our great history. Lots of different complexes have been imposed on us, people are trying to convince us that we are somehow inferior”.
It’s produced by OKeyam – No! | Russian counter-propaganda, which claims that “Kremlin/FSB/ Kiselyov and other structures have nothing to do with the movies of the “OKeyam – no. Everything is done free of charge and on pure enthusiasm.” It has almost 7.5 million views on YouTube.
Is Obama a match for this mindset? Is America, the land of eternal self-flagellation over racism, dropping the atomic bomb, and treatment of the Amerindians? For although America has much less to apologize for than Russia, America is far more apologetic. As the Russians gloss over their historical sins like the Holomodor, Americans dwell on their own endlessly. Russia has innumerable internal issues and challenges, but the very fact that these propaganda videos resonate somewhat with its populace indicates that Russia may well actually believe in itself.
Indeed, we also have patriotic Americans. They’re not in charge, and unless they adopt something like the confidence Russia demonstrates in this video, they’re unlikely to be.
We on the right seem oblivious to a lesson that history and modern politics shows us repeatedly: Boldness – even to the point of arrogance – works. Christianity didn’t evolve from being the faith of eleven terrified men in hiding to that of 2.2 billion because of it’s willingness to compromise. Reagan didn’t win the Cold War or inspire us because of his nuance and willingness to negotiate. The American Revolution exemplified audacity.
But the sword strikes both ways, for history is also replete with demagogues from Hitler to Castro who ferociously led their respective peoples to disaster. Yet as they began their ascents to power, they inspired confidence and made people believe.
Even our current political predicaments demonstrate this. In the international arena he’s weak, but domestically Obama ruthlessly dismisses his critics and opponents. He rarely apologizes, and whatever the damage he’s done to our country, he’s among the most consequential presidents we’ve ever had.
Conversely, for all I know McConnell and Boehner may handle the minutiae of congressional governance as well as humanly possible (although I doubt it), but their repeated refrains of “we can’t actually do anything” give the opposite impression. Whether or not they actually fail, they seem like failures, giving the distinct impression that even if the GOP had the Presidency, an eighty seat majority in the House and 64 Republican Senators they wouldn’t be able to do anything then, either.
Note how horribly Obama (or Chávez, or Putin, or FDR) have governed, but how many people think they were or are successful and tell me that doesn’t matter.
There’s a veritable vacuum on the right, a vacuum of confidence, of not giving a damn if the media pounces all over us for an impolitic statement, of refusing to apologize for being right, of rejecting PC terms like “African-American,” of recognizing media bias as an enemy to circumvent and defeat, not an excuse for failing again.
So when conservatives express utter bewilderment at the success of Donald Trump, I ask, What the hell did you expect? Do you really think we’re going to follow politicians who follow focus groups forever? Do you not recognize how utterly bland and uninspiring the politicians you want us to support really are? Some object to him for legitimate reasons, others would have done everything in their power to keep Reagan from saying “I paid for this microphone,” “evil empire,” or “tear down this wall!”
We’ve been burned, repeatedly. Politicians sound conservative when they run for office, but they’re usually nice about it. When they get into office they fail, and we’re beginning to suspect that acquiescing to “that’s just not how things are done” and “be careful about how you say everything” might have something to do with it.
Don’t mistake me for a Trump supporter because I’m not. However, as much as we don’t want to admit it, boldness and charisma often trump competence, accomplishment and ideological consistency, even among conservatives. It feels good to slaughter sacred cows, even when those cows are actually sacred (i.e. wartime service). We’re sick of parsing our words so as not to cause offense, the ritualistic apologies after having caused offense, of being more afraid of the interviewer than they are of us, of refraining from speaking obvious truths because Frank Luntz tells us we shouldn’t, of backing down the moment we get fiercely criticized. After all, do you actually think we’ll be able to affect substantive change in Washington yet somehow avoid incessant media attack?
So as much as you may hate Donald Trump (and that’s part of what happens when you’re bold — some people really, really, hate you), I suggest you recognize how he exemplifies a lesson that history has tried to teach us through everything from the faith of the Apostles to the evils of Mao: We’re attracted to fearlessness. We might go along with feeling hesitant for a while, but ultimately we get sick of it.
Of our current crop of candidates, several have shown glimpses of the requisite ability to lead and inspire (not Pataki), but they still give the impression they’re largely wedded to the idea that niceness is going to help them win. It won’t. Conservatives are people too, and people want to feel empowered and emboldened. On this count the GOP has failed, utterly.
If somebody on the side of truth doesn’t fill this void, somebody on the side of lies most definitely will.