Is Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?

By Pat Buchanan

Vladimir Putin
Is Vladimir Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman' of Our Times?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -( If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the preeminent statesman of our time.

“On the world stage, who could vie with him?”

So asks Chris Caldwell of the Weekly Standard in a remarkable essay in Hillsdale College's March issue of its magazine, Imprimis.

What elevates Putin above all other 21st-century leaders?

“When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that.

“In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Ataturk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he resurrected a national-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country's plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.”

Putin's approval rating, after 17 years in power, exceeds that of any rival Western leader. But while his impressive strides toward making Russia great again explain why he is revered at home and in the Russian diaspora, what explains Putin's appeal in the West, despite a press that is every bit as savage as President Trump's?

Answer: Putin stands against the Western progressive vision of what mankind's future ought to be. Years ago, he aligned himself with traditionalists, nationalists and populists of the West, and against what they had come to despise in their own decadent civilization.

What they abhorred, Putin abhorred. He is a God-and-country Russian patriot. He rejects the New World Order established at the Cold War's end by the United States. Putin puts Russia first.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

And in defying the Americans he speaks for those millions of Europeans who wish to restore their national identities and recapture their lost sovereignty from the supranational European Union. Putin also stands against the progressive moral relativism of a Western elite that has cut its Christian roots to embrace secularism and hedonism.

The U.S. establishment loathes Putin because, they say, he is an aggressor, a tyrant, a “killer.” He invaded and occupies Ukraine. His old KGB comrades assassinate journalists, defectors and dissidents.

Yet while politics under both czars and commissars has often been a blood sport in Russia, what has Putin done to his domestic enemies to rival what our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has done to the Muslim Brotherhood he overthrew in a military coup in Egypt?

What has Putin done to rival what our NATO ally President Erdogan has done in Turkey, jailing 40,000 people since last July's coup — or our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte, who has presided over the extrajudicial killing of thousands of drug dealers?

Does anyone think President Xi Jinping would have handled mass demonstrations against his regime in Tiananmen Square more gingerly than did President Putin this last week in Moscow?

Much of the hostility toward Putin stems from the fact that he not only defies the West, when standing up for Russia's interests, he often succeeds in his defiance and goes unpunished and unrepentant.

He not only remains popular in his own country, but has admirers in nations whose political establishments are implacably hostile to him.

In December, one poll found 37 percent of all Republicans had a favorable view of the Russian leader, but only 17 percent were positive on President Barack Obama.

Obama vs Putin
Obama vs Putin

There is another reason Putin is viewed favorably. Millions of ethnonationalists who wish to see their nations secede from the EU see him as an ally. While Putin has openly welcomed many of these movements, America's elite do not take even a neutral stance.

Putin has read the new century better than his rivals. While the 20th century saw the world divided between a Communist East and a free and democratic West, new and different struggles define the 21st.

The new dividing lines are between social conservatism and self-indulgent secularism, between tribalism and transnationalism, between the nation-state and the New World Order.

On the new dividing lines, Putin is on the side of the insurgents. Those who envision de Gaulle's Europe of Nations replacing the vision of One Europe, toward which the EU is heading, see Putin as an ally.

So the old question arises: Who owns the future?

In the new struggles of the new century, it is not impossible that Russia — as was America in the Cold War — may be on the winning side. Secessionist parties across Europe already look to Moscow rather than across the Atlantic.

“Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism,” writes Caldwell. “That turns out to be the big battle of our times. As our last election shows, that's true even here.”


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 77 thoughts on “Is Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?

    1. For those who may have shared my curiosity here… I found it! Putin is holding a Stechkin automatic pistol. Chambered in Makarov and Parabellum. He is the Mak daddy, ain’t he?

      For the Gils and cpt’s out there. You have proven that this forum can be about any fantasy you wish to indulge yourselves in. However, if you read and comprehend the article, Mr. Buchanan is clearly making the point(s) that a) Putin has tapped into Russian nationalism (for years with the help of the Russian Orthodox Church) and has brought his country back from the brink. At face value, the politics of everything not withstanding, this is an admirable achievement. This in his less than eloquent way, is exactly what President Trump has been saying. In that regard, I hope everyone can pull the butt plugs out and drop a dose of pragmatism!
      b) Many in Europe are feeling the same about their own sovereignty. What he alludes to but does not quite spell out is that there are movements in many of the countries in the European Union that are following Putin’s game plan… as drawn up by Alexandr Dugin. You spew whatever racist crap you want! We as a species are a foul breed. That can not be argued and race or religion have nothing to do with it. So, my merchant marine friend, you’ve seen the world and lived with the good folk in every port. Aren’t you the worldly one. Are you an American? Have you been so influenced by those around the globe willing to be led by the nose off the cliff while losing everything it means to be a human being? White, black, yellow, brown, red, fuchsia, plaid… who gives a $xxx? You’ve obviously never played three card monte in midtown manhattan. You’re watching the wrong card pal! Gil, wtf are you talking about?
      Mickt- USMC, oath keeper

    2. Seems like Gil and the Cpt seem to have found a new playground. Mom let’s them out of the basement and they think they’re geniuses. After all, you should see what they’ve built with their Play-Dough.
      OK kids, back to being cellar dwellars.

      1. @Sean Curry, Gil is a paid staffer for the Violence Policy Center. Gil hates white people and Christians. Are you sure that “with Gil”? Gil is known to use multiple names. You might be Gil. I notice that you do not abbreviate captain as the military services do. Captain of what?

        1. Nope. You’re a paranoid twit. It’s amusing that when White Christian men aren’t allowed to have sole access to power in society they’re “victims.”

          1. @Gil, Who, in your theory, has the power to “allow” … “White Christian men”… “sole access to power”? Your statement has someone above the White Christian Men. See the circular logic? For your own sake, take some educational classes.

            1. Yes, when Christians are told their religion is one of many Christians complain they have instead the Truth and not a religion hence they get special privileges.

        2. US Merchant Marine Captain. Some use CPT or CAPT. how do you know Gil is a paid poster? Peoples religion does not matter to me. In my experience, Caucasian people have done most of the hating around the world. Look at how President Obama was treated from day one. Wishing you all safe shooting.

          1. @Sean Curry, I doubt that your experience covers most of the hating around the world, particularly if you were confined to a merchant ship. And you would have to 50, 000 years old.

            1. I was as much confined to a vessel, as you were to a base or battlefield. I bet I have seen more of the world.

            2. @Sean, Your argument was, “In my experience, Caucasian people have done most of the hating around the world.” To abandon that argument in favor of “I bet I have seen more of the world.” Is more than a lack of confidence in your original argument, it is a complete debate loss!

            3. Bill, you challenged me. I bet you have been to select bases around the world, but there is much more of world that does not have a US presence. Wanna go country for country? Is there a test to be on this site? Is it a problem for a sportsman to belong if he is not in lock step with all republican views? Yes, I firmly believe that white Europeans have done most of the hating the last 1000 years. A simple look at some history books should help. Wishing you well.

            4. @Sean, so you admit that “I firmly believe that white Europeans have done most of the hating the last 1000 years.” is merely your belief?
              Ok, So your argument went from We all need universal background checks because Massachusetts has it, to White people do the most hating, to I have been to more countries than you have. As you desperately seek some argument that you can be right about, I suggest that you talk about your impressive gun collection and the shooting sports.

            5. Can somebody please tell me what the weapon in Putin’s hand is? (First pic in the article). Thanks guys, just trying to get back on topic…. sort of!

            6. It looks to me to be a 1911 of some sort, but the pic isn’t refined enough for me to tell any better.

    3. Putin, Buchanan, Gingrich, Trump, Nixon, Johnson,Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Ho Chi Min, Mao, and Lenin are/were all thugs. Thugs are not limited by political ideology.

    4. Russia’s economy is not doing well, partially because companies are seized by the government and control shifted to Putin allies. He may appear loved, mostly because he is feared. He kills anyone who dissents. Russia has the highest rate of journalist murder in the world behind Mexico. Putin is an authoritarian and not a statesman.

    5. “If we were to use (SET ITAL) traditional (END ITAL) measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the preeminent statesman of our time”
      Garbage In Garbage Out.
      Russia isn’t flourishing.
      Pat needs to take off the tinfoil hat and buy a vowel.

      Russia’s media is state controlled. All they have is fake news. Which they export…

      1. Is our non-state-controlled media in the USA any better? It seems that our MSM is spouting the Leftist dogma. I can’t say which is worse. Our economy isn’t “flourishing”, either.

    6. Trump wants to be his friend he is no one’s friend Trump has his head so far up Putin ass he has lost sight of the American people Trump can’t say one thing wrong with this man I thought Trump was a smart man stop bad talking the United States of America Russian is not our friend


      1. True, Russia is tyrannical and still is a “communist” styled government. The argument being made is that he his leading his country unapologetically where he believes it should be, and has the support of his people and has lead them out of a bad place economically, and believes in a Russia for Russians. Somewhat in he mold of Teddy Roosevelt.

        No one can deny the bad parts of his governance, but what leader is or was pure “good”? People also admired both Napoleon and Hitler, even they weren’t pure evil nor totally bad.

        1. Get this crap off this site!!! I am thinking about unsubscribing over this anti-american, pro communist bull crap! Get it out of here!!! This is really pissing me off! Especially since we have some jack ass saying Hitler wasn’t all bad now!! Yes, Hitler was all bad, every “good” thing he did was bad because it was part of a terrible plan and ideology that killed and tortured millions of his own people. Putin is bad, Hitler was ALL BAD and Pat Buchanan is an idiot!

          1. Please do us all a favor and unsubscribe until you get a little perspective on current politics and the threats of the current world order, no website in more pro American the Ammoland.

            1. Why don’t you enlighten me with your deep knowledge of the current world order? Or better yet use that knowledge to convince me that I should support the approach, ideals and leadership of a man that fundamentally governs with a technique that is opposite of American ideals. Bring Putin to America and let him govern under the freedoms protected in our constitution and no one would be saying any of this crap about him because he cant do it.

              Agreed, no website is more pro American than Ammoland and we have plenty of great American leaders that we can use as examples so why is Ammoland promoting a foreign dictator? How about our President as an example?!?!?!

            2. @ Adam, If she or Alice were calling you a communist what were you planning on doing about it? I mean… what you wrote is like what kids say in junior high school. So were you going to reach through the internet and slap her up or something?

            1. Adam, Colonialgirl was obviously commenting about you. Even Obama did one good thing, he got Trump elected over Hillary. Those with even a modicum of sentience could tell that the writer isn’t enthralled with Putin, only commenting on how he puts his country and its citizens first, unlike the EU and the USA under Obama. That was the point the author was making. He was not promoting tyrannical governance nor Russia’s form of Communism.

              My point about Napoleon and Hitler, sad that it appears I need to explain this to you, too, was that even as bad as they were, no denying that, as was many other leaders, tyrants, kings, etc., they did do some things that were good, and that even as bad as they were, there are people that still believe they were good for their countries at that time. I, in no way, stated I agreed with that notion. My point was only that our Western ideals and notions are different than those in other parts of the world, such as Muslims that also do not believe in democracy and freedom, since those ideals are not in the Qur’an nor part of Islam. We cannot base good and “evil” or bad elsewhere solely on our ideals, since we don’t live there and are not part of that culture nor belief system.

              As much as you revile certain people, you did not say what leaders were or are pure “good”, so it seems you must agree with my point, you just had to cry some PC tears, first.

            1. I’m sticking around. Adam, I’m no Putin lover but I stand by what I said. Name those I called on folks to name or shut up.

            2. @larry Brickey, Roger that. Oh, and I put forth the name of Sarah Palin. Easy on my eyes, quiet on my mind, more balls than most other US politicians.

    8. WTF is this crap doing on this site? This anti-American, pro communist bullsh*t is terrible. Screw Putin and his communist, police state, denying free speech and killing and jailing his rivals. He might be a good statesman by some standards but the standard we use in America is Freedom, the Freedom defined and granted by our great constitution and Putin doesn’t believe in or fight for any of those freedoms for his people. He’s got a high approval rating from his people?!? Really?!? That’s because he’ll kill you if you don’t agree with him or he just makes up the results!!! Or as the article points out it’s because Russia came from crap because their previous communist leaders were sh*t heads too, the article should be titled Putin, King of the Pygmies!!! Get this crap out of here!!! America!! God Bless America!!

      1. You are missing the entire point of this article, Putin is un-apologetically pro Russian, he is a strong ruler and does it his way regardless of what outside forces would like him to do. That strong man has brought Russia back from the brink making them a world power once more. Notice there is no liberal press or politicians dragging down Russia. Patrick J. Buchanan is far from pro Russia, he is making the point that if Trump can beat back the liberal press and stick to his America first policy, we can be on the same track. The article is also a warning that Russia could over take us a world leader if we let the forces against Donald Trump win out. That is why this “crap” appears on AmmoLand News, because they have the balls to publish it.

        1. NO, I am not missing the point. Sharia law is great for maintaining strict order and obedience so should we use that as an example by which to govern or set our laws?!?! I dont think so… insane foreign ideals, communist dictators and anti-american leaders should get no play, credit or kudos at all, especially on this site.

          1. Adam, no, we, at least as of now, do not believe in Sharia law, since it states it is above all else, governments and other religions, and does not respect the ideals of Western society, such as democracy and freedom. Muslims do not believe in those ideals because they are not in the Qur’an and not part of Islam.

            It’s ironic that someone that believes in respect for other’s culture and values is so lacking in understanding and acceptance of another culture and country’s ideals. If Russians, Chinese, and others didn’t believe in Communism, they would revolt, as did the Communists and take back their countries.

            Your dislike of other’s ideals is a good reason to live in the USA where we allow other’s to believe as they want, as long as they respect our laws, even you. Your hatred of Putin is valueless, since you don’t live there and do not understand their beliefs and values. If Muslims didn’t agree with the tenets of Islam, they wouldn’t be Muslims, they might also be killed by other Muslims, but that is a different topic altogether.

            1. So what? Neither do Christians. They ran the West under Sharia law. Individual rights and freedoms is relatively recent in comparison.

            2. Gil, no, Christians did not “run the West under Sharia law”, since that is not part of Christianity. As far as rights, democracy and freedom being recent, I gather that the ideal of democracy formed by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago being “recent” to you is quite amusing. If you want to state that the modern ideal of democracy and freedom began with the USA, that is still 200+ years more freedom and democracy than what is allowed under Qur’anic law. That is still a big plus and that is also what allows you to post your nonsense here.

              Please keep berating us, our Constitution, and our rights guaranteed under it. I believe the words of the Preamble to the Constitution is fitting, “in order to form a more perfect union”. That states our form of government isn’t the best, and can’t be improved, nor is our country, but it surely is much better than any other place I have visited. Have been to several places that I have enjoyed visiting, but I also believe in the saying, it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there, applies to every other place I have been to yet. If I find somewhere better, I would move there, if I were able. Some countries don’t allow you to move and become a citizen, some even make you pay several hundred thousand US dollars and show you have substantial assets before you can even buy property there.

            3. Yes Christians ran the West under Sharia law and all the bad things people complain about the Koran are also in the Bible. Much of the violence Muslims do is what Christians did when they were in power. Likewise the “democracy” of Ancient Greece is hardly comparable to what we consider democracy nowadays. Freedom as we was a secular invention when people decided question dictatorships.

            4. Gil, no, Christians did not use Sharia Law, regardless of how you may want to align the two. Also, you admit that Christianity is not a problem today, unlike Islam. Religions are not dictatorships, although there are countries that do have some types of theocratic rule.

              I did not state that the democracy of ancient Greece is the same as it is today, but that is the basis of our democratic ideals. Even so, the USA is not a Democracy, it is a Democratic Republic. Christians do accept the ideals of democracy and freedom, and Western Society is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and ideals. Sharia Law does not allow anything, government or any other religion, above Islam. Christians accept the rule of law, of government by the people, for the people.

              Now let’s get back to the topic of the story.

            5. You won’t find individual freedom and diversity in the Bible since the idea is a few hundred years old. Christians ruled the West for over 1,000 years and never granted freedom to anyone hence the modern values we find sacred aren’t “Judeo-Christian” but secular.. If you had a time machine and could visit the Medieval period it would look the same as the crappier Muslim run countries.

              And yes this is on topic as the author likes the thought of the West run as Christian dictatorships.

            6. Gil, I see reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. I didn’t state that democracy and freedom are in the Bible. And you are off-topic. The story is about Putin, not Christianity. But I am glad that you at least acknowledge that Muslim-controlled countries are at less 1,000 years behind the West.

              Now, again, back to the topic of the story.

            7. @Gil, If you mean Europe, when you write “the West”, then those countries were governed by kings and emperors, not some mythical Christian theocracy. Christianity has always been nonpolitical and voluntary. You can choose not to participate and Christians will not hurt you. If you tell a secular government (e.g. communism) that you are not going to participate, they will hurt you.
              It has become a pattern with Gil, that he chooses for enemies those that he knows will not harm him, rather than choosing for an enemy someone that will.

            8. Yes HtCu you assert the West is based on “Judeo-Christian values” even though the two religions aren’t the same. The modern West is based on individual rights and freedom started by secularists. You have to torture the Bible to suppose goat herders could imagine life some 2,000 to 3,000 years later. In the days of early Christians slavery was the norm. When the Bible tells masters to treat their slaves kindly it was forward thinking for the time era.

              WB, what you’re really saying is “my Christianity allows for modern secular thinking on individual rights” because you’re cherry-picking the Bible to support your worldview. To suppose Christian Europe wasn’t really Christian because they didn’t support modern values is a cop-out.

            9. Gil, you seem to really have issues, not only with reading comprehension. So all early Christians and Jews were goat herders? Besides, that wasn’t the argument, and to have to reach back that far in time in a feeble attempt to prove your point is quite amusing. What I stated was that Christians accept the rule of law and believe in Western values. Whether you want to believe they are Judeo-Christian or otherwise is your issue. Even as an Atheist, I can see the effects of those religions on our laws and values.

            10. @Heed, Yes, it is true Gil thinks not! He is not much on researching facts or presenting argumentation, either.

            11. Gil, actually, no, but my morals and ethics are similar, and I recognize that, and as a good citizen and a contributing member of society, I believe in living a good, moral, ethical life. I believe in treating others as I would like to be treated, and other values that are also part of the Judeo-Christian values that are part of Western Society. One does not need to be religious or a Christian to be a good person. It seems this, too, is difficult for you to understand. You seem to be a very bitter person. Maybe finding religion could help you become a better person, since whatever you are doing currently clearly isn’t working.

          2. @Adam, We have to keep our eyes and ears on the communists, all dictators, anti-American foreigners, and pushers of sharia law. Passing info around this site about them is helpful.

            1. Wild Bill, you must be right. Well, except for the Cathars and the Inquisition and……………

            2. Larry, I am sure you know that the Inquisition was in reaction to the 700 year Moorish (Islamic) rule. Also, the Cathars were the antithesis of Catholicism and denounced by the Catholic Church. And the Ottomans were invading Europe at that time.

            3. Larry, yes, I believe we all know that. It wasn’t the first time nor the time they have been targeted.

    9. No surprises the author loves the concept of a White, Christian Dictatorship where you can make your opponents disappear instead of having to hear about equal rights and what not.

      1. In a country that wants success that is the only type of government that will work. Those fools who think you can bring in the third world and stay a first world country are living a fantasy. All countries are based on blood not soil. Change the population you change the country.

            1. It’s not really a dictatorship when the ones you want are in charge and don’t have to answer for their actions?

      2. @Gil, Putin is not a Christian. Putin is a communist. Nor is dictatorship or making your opponents disappear a Christian concept. Christianity is nonpolitical. If you anything at all about Christianity you would understand the teaching, “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s, and give to God what is God’s”.
        The fetters of Christianity are that you have a moral obligation to treat your neighbor as you self, and you don’t want to love and share with your neighbors, thus you rail against Christianity. You need not, because Christianity does not require you to participate, unlike communism, naziism, and islam.

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