Onder Republikeinen in de VS is Poetin langzamerhand steeds minder impopulair aan het worden. Sommigen, zoals Trump, maar ook evangelistisch voorman Franklin Graham, vinden Poetin zelfs ronduit een toffe peer.
Waar komt die populariteitsverschuiving vandaan?
Volgens Jeet Heer is dit eigenlijk helemaal niet opmerkelijk, maar gewoon business as usual:
[…] for decades after WWII, the right celebrated dictators like Spain’s Francisco Franco for providing firm leadership to disordered societies. Mid-twentieth-century conservatism was deeply skeptical of democracy, especially in the wake of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four presidential election victories and the fact that successful Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower refused to roll back the welfare state because it was too popular. Beyond these electoral concerns, there was a strong sense that democracies were too weak and decadent to stand up to the communist threat.
This lead many on the right to sing the praises of strongmen. “General Franco is an authentic national hero,” William F. Buckley declared in 1957. When the Spanish dictator died in 1975, James Burnham, Buckley’s colleague in National Review, wrote, “Francisco Franco was our century’s most successful ruler.” For Buckley’s brother-in-law L. Brent Bozell, Franco’s Spain embodied an authentic Catholic culture that could more strongly resist the degradations of liberalism and communism than America. […]
Now the American right has gone full circle, and once again has a soft spot for an autocrat who promotes nationalism and heteronormativity. It wasn’t just the failure of Iraq that soured conservatives on their brief love of democracy. The rise of Barack Obama and the political success of liberal social causes, especially LGBTQ rights, has demoralized many on the right, who are now looking to foreign lands and autocratic leaders to stem the tide of moral degradation. In effect, Putin is the new Franco.