Most Americans have forgotten about Russia. I mean, we certainly worried about them during the Cold War, but after the Berlin Wall came down, and Russia set about trying to establish pro-western economic reforms, the American public drifted on to other topics and considerations (namely, the so-called War on Terror).
Ukraine and the current Crimea crisis has brought Russia back into the mainstream conversation again. And it is troubling how much we weren’t paying attention to things concerning our current frenemy. Things like just how different Russia still is from us culturally and politically. And just how wildly homophobic, racist and xenophobic mainstream Russian society can be towards outsiders.
Most troubling is that some Russians crave another Cold War and still consider the United States to be public enemy number one - and have been preaching about it for years. According to the New York Times, that anti-American attitude is currently in a surprising upswing in Russia.
You can read about it in this article over at The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1cO4kMg
What else I find troubling is that some Americans in the United States have been showing respect toward Russia for its recent actions in Ukraine. Namely, conservative talking heads (which, I know, do not represent much in the way of the American public). The conservative wish for strong, centralized leadership - something they would quickly deny and never consciously acknowledge - is apparent in much of their talking points criticism against “liberal” interests and President Obama. I’ve long suspected that the Right would prefer giving the executive branch more authority.
Check out this Daily Show clip for a quick glance at that favorable praise conservative talking heads have been handing out: http://bit.ly/1grDfJN
Maybe some of these talking heads might prefer a life in Russia? Maybe, their current attitudes toward Russia’s “ability to lead” would evaporate in the face of more obvious Russian antagonism towards the United States? I don’t know. Maybe they don’t either.
I do know that Russia and the United States have completely different values and that “strong, centralized leadership” is something Russians might instinctively prefer. And I would hope Russia would want to avoid any kind of direct conflict, cold or otherwise, with the United States the same as I would.
I do know that Russia and the United States have completely different values.
Within a 10-20 year span in the middle of the 17th century, as far as I can deduce, England was introduced to Tea from China, Coffee from Arabs and Chocolate by way of Mexico. They, naturally, sold all three out of the same establishment, the coffeehouse.
Can you imagine all three of these things landing in your culture at virtually the same time? Madness…