Putin and Biden are two sides of the same oppressive coin

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The American right suffers from a chronic failure of knowing what time it is, and nothing revealed that fact more clearly than the recent death of the Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

Navalny, the 47-year-old outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, died suddenly while serving a long prison sentence on charges of “extremism.” The natural instinct in such a situation is to denounce the political oppression of Putin’s regime, but the United States has lost its moral standing to criticize other nations due to the criminalization of political dissent that is occurring within its own system.

The idea that the right should spend its time criticizing the democratic process of any other country at this point is absurd.

Still, many conservative politicians and pundits like Ben Shapiro took to Twitter and assured Republicans that while the Biden administration was indeed involved in weaponizing the justice system, comparisons to Putin’s Russia were unwarranted.

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This is, quite frankly, insane. If the right does not wake up to what is happening in the United States, conservatives will find themselves the victims of a regime that has every intention of imprisoning its enemies.

Just to be clear, I am sure that Vladimir Putin is a very bad man who does not care about the interests of my family or my country. Whether he wants to conquer the world and establish a Russian fascist global empire, as many neocons and leftists claim, is another question. But I am very sure that Putin is no friend of mine.

There is, however, an unbearable absurdity to Western leaders like Justin Trudeau or Joe Biden, who have repeatedly imprisoned and suppressed their own opponents, giving lectures on the importance of democratic norms. The failure to understand that our own domestic political oppression is far more important than condemning the actions of distant foreign leaders demonstrates a lack of ability to make a critical perspective shift inside the conservative movement.

Americans have grown accustomed to being the global hegemon, and it shows. Our leaders assume the right to dictate the actions of foreign rulers, and our political commentariat enjoys pontificating about the superiority of our system.

We like the idea of being the leader of the free world, but that only works if you manage to maintain liberty at home. We have not.

Twitter poster Douglass Mackey has been sentenced to prison for making memes. More than 1,300 Americans have been charged for protesting the presidential election on January 6, 2021, and many of them have had their due process rights tossed into the garbage. Donald Trump, the former president and Joe Biden’s chief political opponent, has been arrested on multiple fallacious charges, and several states have attempted to strip him from the ballot. Many of Trump’s attorneys and administration officials have had their lives ruined due to politically motivated legal prosecutions. The list of attacks on our political freedoms is almost endless and is only growing larger.

The institutions that were originally designed to protect Americans from enemies both foreign and domestic now devote themselves to punishing opponents of the regime. The FBI monitors Catholics at traditional Latin masses, the Justice Department pursues absurd charges against pro-life protesters, and the Department of Homeland Security treats Trump supporters like domestic terrorists.

Thanks to the Twitter files and recent reporting from Mike Benz of the Foundation for Freedom Online, we know that our domestic security apparatus and intelligence services collude with social media companies to control the American electoral process using the same tactics they use to foment color revolutions in foreign countries. The idea that the right should spend its time criticizing the democratic process of any other country at this point is absurd.

The United States does not exist in a geopolitical vacuum. Countries like China, Russia, and Iran do not stop seeking advantage just because Americans are having problems domestically. But conservatives must understand that while these countries do present some level of opposition to our national interests, none of them are the primary threat to the freedom of the American people.

It is a terrifying thing to admit, but the most dangerous threat to the liberty of American citizens is a ruling class who would strip them of their most foundational constitutional rights in the name of defending “our democracy.”

Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping may pose a threat to the international interests of the United States, but who cares if those interests are dictated by a ruling class that hates the average American?

Putin did not shoot the unarmed veteran Ashli Babbit.

Putin has not facilitated an invasion at America’s southern border.

Putin has not pushed transgender propaganda onto this nation’s schoolchildren.

Putin has not allowed rampant violent crime in American cities.

Putin has not stolen the money of American taxpayers through borrowing and inflation to fund foreign wars.

Again, I am very sure that Putin is a bad man who wishes this country ill, but he is not the one irreparably damaging our homeland.

The oldest trick in the political playbook is attempting to distract the population with a foreign threat to obfuscate the malicious actions of the ruling class at home. This does not mean that the United States does not have very real opponents abroad, but our primary focus must remain on the ongoing weaponization our justice system and the Biden administration’s attempts to criminalize domestic political opposition.

Christ instructed us to remove the log from our own eye before we attempt to clear the speck of dust from our brother’s eye. Before criticizing another country for its lack of political freedoms, we should make sure to secure our own.

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