Almost a half of my life I lived in a Soviet Russia, and I respected and followed the Russian way of life. However, the Russian traditions were a sort of barrier in realization of my own personal dreams of how to enhance my own life, the life of my family and community and the life of my country. Therefore, in the late 1970th my family and I immigrated to the USA.
My leaving a Soviet Russia did not mean the disdain for the Russian way of life – it is what the majority of Russian people (probably 85-90%) prefer. I was among the truly small minority who felt, and still do, that the Russian way of life is hostile to them. It was hostile to them but not to the Russian vast majority for whom the Russian way of life is inborn and they are ready to defend it. That is what our “politically correct” way of dealing with Russia is missing, and the possibility of improving our relationships with Russia depends on getting rid of “politically correct” thinking and finding common interests which let Russia be a historically traditional Russia and the US be a historically traditional US.
Why Russia and the US are adversaries
Democracy has only one true meaning and this is free people’s voting for the government leaders who uphold the people’s historically traditional way of life. Since Russia and the US have two different ways of life, they freely elect different leaders.
For the Russian majority, an authoritative leader who promises to take complete care of his citizens-subordinates, including spiritual and material needs, is the best and that is the reason why they freely elect Putin. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, there were numerous attempts to elect European-style leaders to get closer to the European-style democracy, but all attempts failed since they were not in accordance with the Russian historic tradition.
For the American majority, a leader who promises to return the US to the original individual-freedoms-based democracy where the majority of citizens are taking care of themselves – spiritually and financially – is the best, and that is the reason we freely elected Trump. In essence, the current American election-revolution is an uprising of the individual-freedoms-loving people who demand a smaller non-intrusive government against those who demand a sort of Russian-style authoritative government which has to take care of them, and this care – and that is most important – should include the suppression of the others who think differently.
The authoritative government suppresses the free-market economy that brings economic decline and increases suffering of the people. To justify the suffering, the Russian authoritative government (Putin) presents the US as an enemy and the suffering as the result of American actions that are forcing Putin to spend the money for strengthening the Russian military to defend the motherland. In other words, the US is responsible for the suffering of Russian people. In essence, that is an old Soviet-style mentality.
That is a situation where we have to look for the common American/Russian interest.
How to prevent the peaceful adversaries from becoming the violent enemies
Of course, the common interest is to prevent any military confrontation that may become WWIII. The US is not interested in WWIII because of its overall foundational “peaceful mindset” while Russia is not interested in WWIII since it is militarily much weaker as compared with the West. Ronald Reagan prevented WWIII by significantly increasing the size of the American military during the Soviet Brezhnev’s times. The Russians were trying to match the US military and that ruined their economy. The result? – The death of the Soviet Union.
The Putin’s Russia is different from the Soviet Russia. The Russian wealthy elite leaders have vital interests in the Western financial system, Western markets and advanced technologies. Therefore, the Trump’s suggested investment in US military could be aimed not at ruining the Putin’s Russia, as was the case in the Reagan/Brezhnev’s times, but rather at forcing the Russians to accept American – negotiated with Russia – proposals for restoration of American influence in the areas where it was lost during the Obama’s presidency retreat.
From the news media:
President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone conversation that relations between their countries were “unsatisfactory” and vowed to work together to improve them. … The two men discussed combining efforts in the fight against terrorism, talked about “a settlement for the crisis in Syria” and agreed that their aides would begin working on a face-to-face meeting between them. … The president-elect spoke admiringly of Putin during the campaign, praising him as a stronger leader than President Obama and saying the two countries should join together to fight terrorists, particularly the Islamic State in Syria. Those views put Trump at odds with many GOP defense hawks, who have praised his promise to increase military spending but are uniformly suspicious of Moscow and have denounced Russian actions in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Syria. The offer of cooperation could also immerse Trump in a deep controversy with the Pentagon, where military and civilian leaders have strongly opposed collaboration with Russia, particularly in Syria.
Thus, there is a hope that Donald Trump may significantly improve our relationships with Russia if our goals are more practical and less politically correct – with respect for each other historically traditional way of life.