In an interview with Financial Times Vladimir Putin says liberalism has â€˜become obsoleteâ€™. The Russian leader made the statement before he left for the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
He claimedÂ that liberalism is in conflict withÂ “the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population…”
According to BBC News, Premier Putin also stated that multiculturalism isÂ “no longer tenable”.
He criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing an increasing number of refugees into that country, claiming:
â€œThis liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected.”
This kind of false, bombasticÂ and divisive rhetoric is one reason why Donald Trump considersÂ Putin to beÂ hisÂ authoritarian role model. Both men share a habit of making outrageous and insensitive remarks about immigrants which in some cases have incited racism and hate crimes by their supporters. They see themselves as fulfilling a Mussolini-styleÂ â€œstrong manâ€ role using blunt macho-ism to bully their opponents.
Putin also had some bigoted remarks about members of the LGBT community.Â His statements are obviously designed to marginalize and isolate people who do not practice traditional heterosexual behavior.
“They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles,â€ he said. â€œLet everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”
The Russian PremierÂ praised US President Donald Trump, describing him as aÂ “talented person” who is able toÂ relateÂ toÂ voters.
Your commentÂ about Putin â€œmeddlingâ€ in the US election is not a jokeÂ Mr. President!
European UnionÂ President Donald Tusk spoke out againstÂ Putinâ€™s remarks. When addressing reporters he said:
“Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete.”
“What I find really obsolete are authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs, even if sometimes they may seem effective.”
Donald Trumpâ€™s admirationÂ for VladimirÂ Putin is a very bad sign for American democracy. A US President who openly displaysÂ reverence for dictators is anathema to the ideals of a Republic founded upon the principle that all people are created equal. His belief that some members of society should be discriminated against due to their race or religion has attracted the support of white supremacistÂ groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
This kind of racist legacy cannot be tolerated in a nation which claims to be a leader of the free world. During the lead up to ourÂ next national election it is incumbentÂ upon all of us to speak out against bigotry and hatred, and to remove those from office who promulgate this kind of regressive ideology. Demagogues who use the crass politicsÂ of division to win votes and suppress minorities must not be allowed to win at the polls.
It is time for us to take back ourÂ country from those unethical opportunists who have attempted to turn back the clocks to the bad old days of prejudice and segregation. Itâ€™s our duty to honor all those who have made enormous sacrificesÂ over the last two centuriesÂ in the quest for freedom, equality and justice!
I am Executive Director of Democracy Watch News. Our mission is to cover pro-democracy movements around the globe. It is the obligation of all reporters, editors, publishers, etc. to promote and protect freedom the press and freedom of speech wherever it is being challenged or suppressed. We will continue to fight for democratic principles in the face of authoritarian trends.