Saturday, February 10, 2024


Here's a quick, belated, and possibly uninformed comment on one aspect of Tucker Carlson's Vladimir Putin interview (which I admit I didn't watch). Yesterday, The New York Times noted this:
In Russia on Friday, experts and even some of Mr. Putin’s allies were ... puzzling over why [Putin] gave short shrift to his main ideological commonality with Mr. Carlson’s followers: opposition to L.G.B.T.Q. rights and other liberal social causes.

Margarita Simonyan, head of the Russian state broadcaster, RT, lamented that Mr. Putin neglected to market Russia as “a safe haven for people who are not ready to send their children to be raised by L.G.B.T. people.”

“This is the only thing on which Russia can and should now build an ideology externally,” Ms. Simonyan said, blaming Mr. Carlson for not asking the right questions. “Just as the U.S.S.R. once built it on the ideas of social equality.”
If that's correct, I have to assume it was for one reason: Putin wasn't trying to do outreach to his base in the Republican electorate -- he was trying to do outreach to young horseshoe progressives, who he assumes are LGBTQ-friendly. Republican voters already know Putin's government is "traditionalist" and homophobic. They don't need to hear that again. But young anti-Biden lefties might have been put off by gay-bashing and trans-bashing rhetoric.

Maybe avoiding this subject was Putin's idea. Maybe it was Carlson's. Either way, I assume it was an effort to make Putin's message palatable to young progs, with an eye toward the November elections. That seems the most obvious explanation.

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