Pat Buchanan’s latest column contains nothing remotely surprising. The American right wing nationalist praises Vladimir Putin, the Russian right wing nationalist and the European right wing populists like France’s National Front and the UK Independence Party.
A second telltale sign of the new populism is traditionalism and cultural conservatism, reverence for the religious and cultural history and heritage of the nation and its indigenous people.
That victory in the recent Eurovision contest of Conchita, the bearded transvestite drag queen who performed in a gown, though celebrated by much of the European press, sent a message to millions of traditionalists that this is no longer their culture.
Another aspect of the rising populist right, as the New York Times notes, is a grudging admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Why? Putin not only publicly rejects the moral relativism of the West, under his guidance Russian social legislation is being consciously rooted in traditional Christian concepts of right and wrong.Putin is the anti-Obama, moving to occupy the cultural-moral vacuum left by America. As we celebrate multiculturalism, LGBT rights and abortion on demand, Putin repudiates Hollywood values.
This is precisely the opposite of reality. Putin is not standing up for morality, he is undermining it. The morality he espouses and enforces is a childish one, a list of simple rules handed down by a God that appears not to exist and used to oppress people. I would argue that a genuine morality is based upon maximizing human liberty. Punishing people for being gay or for advocating gay rights, as Putin and Buchanan are so eager to do, is the opposite of morality. Authoritarianism is immoral. Oppression is immoral.