Why Bad Vlad should scare the pants off you

He sings a seductive song, for all the wrong reasons:

“Today, many nations are revising their moral values and ethical norms, eroding ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures. Society is now required not only to recognize everyone’s right to the freedom of consciousness, political views and privacy, but also to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning. Sunglass VladThis destruction of traditional values from above not only leads to negative consequences for society, but is also essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority, which does not accept the changes occurring or the proposed revision of values.” – Vladimir Putin

Wow, a siren song for the Right in this country, huh? Not so fast…

In the United States, Putin’s right turn has exacerbated old divisions among its conservative intelligentsia. The reaction of some conservatives to Putin’s December speech has been positive, if not affirming. Putin’s call to return to traditional values and scorn for elites who willfully promote “abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values” compelled Pat Buchanan to wonder aloud whether Putin “was one of us?” Writing in The American Conservative, William Lind went so far as to claim that “American conservatives should welcome the resurgence of a conservative Russia.” Such praise for Putin couldn’t more strongly contrast the loathing of other American conservatives. Writing for National Review, the Stanford classicist Victor Davis Hanson compared Putin to Milton’s Satan, arguing that “he winds up existing to warn us in the West of what we are not.” Throughout the Cold War, American conservatives were predictably unified in their ideological stand against communism. Indeed, the Soviets faced few enemies as unyielding as those who shared the views of either Mr. Lind or Mr. Hanson. Evidently, Putin has divined the formula for polarizing his more traditional opponents.

— and that makes him incredibly dangerous. Even the devil can quote scripture…

Some in-depth reading here, via Classical Values