Slouching toward the Russian Model

Slouching toward the Russian Model

Democracy is so darn messy and slow. Plus, members of the other party are the devil’s spawn, or so some would have us believe.

There are people in this country who wish things could be done easier and quicker, like, you know, making the trains run on time. They think America would be better off if their party were in charge all the time—and if everyone watched the same Network news station that they watched exclusively.

And atop that one triumphant party would be a strongman or strongwoman to get things done, just like the CEO of some giant company can.

Many think that the Supreme Court should be packed with conservatives and Catholics—wait, it already is: six of the nine justices are Catholic and six lean decidedly to the right of center.

Imagine if six of the Supreme Court justices were Muslims or Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Some Americans believe that their candidates simply can’t lose. Why would God let that happen, and we all know that God helps those who help themselves.

Yes, some people think what America needs is a strongman or woman. With one person in charge, all that “America’s almighty CEO” would have to do is snap her fingers—and, abracadabra, our nation could invade another country for no apparent reason, and to the detriment of all concerned.

Watch your step, Canada, with your contagious socialized medicine for all!

Our uber-decisive person could do any fool thing. No one would dare tell our omnipotent leader that she had it wrong. It wouldn’t be safe, or good for business.

That’s the Russian model and there are people hereabouts who want to adopt it.

When a Russian oligarch dared to criticize his nation’s invasion of Ukraine, he was forced to sell his shares in a bank at a steep discount.

Indeed, the Russian approach is already being tried here. Take Florida, where the Disney Empire had the audacity to express an opinion that differed from that of the governor of that state who desperately wants to be your next president.

A la Vladimir Putin squashing oligarchs like bedbugs, said governor (his first name rhymes with Don) set about marshaling the power of the state to punish Walt’s Magic Kingdom. Imagine that, disagreeing with infallible Ron the presidential candidate.

Ron’s role model did likewise when he was in the White House. Our previous president used the bully pulpit to bully dozens of companies and individuals, from Amazon and Nordstrom to former members of his own administration who had the audacity to disagree with him.

Yes, my fellow Americans, we are playing Russian roulette with our democracy. Ben Franklin frankly worried that we might some day.

Too many of us think we know it all, and believe that people who disagree with us have it all wrong—and that these people may require some good old-fashioned re-education to boot.

Look what inflexible ideology and one-person rule did for the Soviet Union and is now doing for Russia.

Look again.