Ronald Reagan once accurately described the Soviet Union and its authoritarian communist government as the Evil Empire. He was right. When the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of incompetence and yet another failed effort at communism, most of the world drew a deep breath of relief. But not everyone was happy. Hiding in the receding shadow of the fallen iron curtain were killers and thugs, now unemployed and dreaming that one day, the Evil Empire would strike back.
One of those thugs of limited skills and few hints of humanity was a very little man named Vladamir Putin, a KGB killer who preferred his size seven jack-boot on the neck of helpless people yearning to be free. Bad Vlad didn’t care about Mother Russia or any mother in Russia. He sought the power, prestige, money, and fame that drive little men to do big, bad things.
Putin turned a Russian country with the blossoms of freedom and the promise of Spring back into a cold, despotic nation of secret police, political assassination, and Soviet-style dictatorial rule, insulated by the trappings of billionaire oligarchs. Russia doesn’t have elections; it only has Putin and his new-wave style of Stalinism … which might best be described as Putinism.
Indeed, Putin and Hitler have many interesting parallels. Each was a foot-soldier in a failed empire, rising through the ashes and dead bodies of their own making with an eye toward returning their motherland to the glory they think it deserves. Hitler wrote a book of his plans. More recently, Putin penned an essay and gave an interview outlining his desire to restore the old Soviet Union.
Putin is a very little man with big delusions and nuclear weapons. By definition, the Russian military is a superpower. It has the power to destroy all of the earth, and it rests in the hands of one man. That’s not good. Putin has been playing the long game, and he has accrued geopolitical power and intimidation through his control of energy. Laugh all you want, the hard left’s push for clean energy and no nukes left nearly all of Eastern Europe in need of Russian gas that flows through Ukraine pipelines.
Inexplicably, the Germans put nearly 80 of their energy needs into the hands of Putin. It’s as if they never read or experienced history.
Putin made shrewd deals in the Arctic with China, offering it vast control and resources for cash and financing. Putin was planning for sanctions years ago, while Americans were in-fighting and accusing the last President, the only one of the last four not to lose ground to Putinism, of being … you guessed it … a puppet of the Russian government.
Imagine Putin’s remarkable surprise when the United States then elected a 78-year-old man well past his physical or intellectual prime, a prime in which he was rejected in the 80s as a viable Presidential candidate. Putin, itching to continue his expansion game, one he has mastered, was further delighted to find that the US imposed drilling restrictions, shut-down pipelines, and instead of being energy independent as it was in 2019, was now buying oil from Russia. While Putin planned to put the old slave states back together in Russia, he probably never dreamed that one American President could help him do that in less than 400 days.
The last piece of Putinism that was necessary after his rise to power and preparations was to expand the empire. He did it invading Georgia under Bush. He invaded Syria giving him a great strategic base in the middle east. Then, he invaded and annexed Crimea, both under President Obama. The ruse in each was that Russia was asked for help. In fact, in Crimea, Georgia, and now Ukraine, Putin sent in special forces to foment separatist movements and then used his own covert operations to declare a threat to Russian citizens and interests, requiring that he take action.
Putin even claimed that the latest full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine was nothing but a peacekeeping mission. In his own country, state-run media continues to tell its people that this action is about protecting Russians in the east in the two areas Putin unilaterally recognized as new republics on sovereign Ukraine soil. Meanwhile, Russians invaded from the north, east, and south, and have entirely surrounded and are persistently attacking the capital, which is 6 hours from his “peacekeeping” operation.
America has too long ignored the rise of Putinism and his twin threat in China. We have traded our liberty principles for multinational profits for some companies, and for alt-left, global agendas that sound great. Who doesn’t want clean air? Who doesn’t want good global citizens? I’ll tell you who, the evil empires … the one in China, and the one in Moscow. They are literally abusing a drugged-up, mixed-up, emotionally weak, broken American culture preoccupied with genders, equality of outcomes, and racial strife stoked and subsidized by the alt-left. Who are the alt-left? They are both willing and unwilling agents of these evil empires.
The evil empire fell through the promise and optimism of capitalism and democratic values, secured by strength and the unflinching reality that America, while not perfect, was a beacon of hope and pillar of might on which the world could rely.
When liberty recedes, authoritarianism advances. When hope fades, fear soars. And when good people do nothing, bad people will do anything. Too many Americans believe that liberty into which they were born is enduring, without cost or sacrifice. They wrongly think they can free-ride on debt paid by others to stay free in a civil society.
The man who called the Soviet Empire the “Evil Empire,” also said, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.”
That is exactly the lesson a once free Ukraine is learning today.
When America used strength to secure peace, the world was safer and freer. Today, we are seeing the result of an unofficial doctrine of war through weakness. And, to be clear, it isn’t just one President, either. It is our nation, divided, often without God, too willing to forsake liberty, with no sense of justice.
We are a government by and for the people. And that is our problem. If you want to make America great again, or in your mind for the first time … then you need to start acting like great Americans.
The Evil Empire is back, and Americans better figure out quickly how to be great again.