What “People” Do the Populists Serve?

The populists of the world today, eager above all causes to bury Ukraine, though sometimes euphemizing the death they are willing as “fiscal responsibility” or “not getting mired in others’ problems” or “an end to endless wars” — whose interests do these populists seek to serve? 

It is not their own to be sure. For in abandoning a large and courageous nation to the relentless attrition of a man willing to kill a hundred thousand of his own young men for the sake of preserving his reputation for mercilessness, they only ensure further wars of impunity against closer friends, tighter concerns, or even, eventually, themselves, if indeed they do not surrender themselves willingly before that.

It is not that of the Russian people, Russian history, or Russian “strategic interests,” all of whom are served best by the trajectory set in motion at the nominal end of the Cold War, namely an increasingly peaceable Russian participation in a Eurasian neighborhood in which they are no longer perceived as an enemy to be despised, but accepted as neighbors in good standing.

It is not the interests of peace itself, at least not as peace has been understood by all genuine men and honorable statesmen throughout history, namely as the absence of tyrannical hostility. For a world surrendered to the threats of a brutal aggressor knows no peace, but only the disarmed humiliation of shivering silence before thugs.

No, in their increasingly maniacal hatred of Ukraine, and even in their desperation to shield their ugly abandonment of a European nation by doubling their vociferously hypocritical cries of “Justice!” for Israel, they — the populists, whose names are hardly worth mentioning, as the mud of a landslide deserves no name — are serving no one’s interests but Vladimir Putin’s. They are now serving and living as slaves to him, bootlickers to him, propagandists for him, henchmen for him. 

Our consolation is that in hitching their rickety wagons to this insignificant hitman and enemy of his own people, they are simultaneously tethering their own fates to his. Thus they, like he, will get what he and they deserve.

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