Populists Are Losing This War
Making excuses for Putin shames conservatives
Back in February, we had a pretty good idea what was going on. Video and satellite imagery had shown the steady increase and massing of Russian troops, tanks, and military supplies around Ukraine’s borders. Vladimir Putin had started wars before — and here he was again, on the precipice of something truly horrific.
What bothered me was the extent to which several high-profile populist conservatives were seeming to reflexively side with the cruel Russian autocrat. I watched as Tucker Carlson and J.D. Vance defended Putin, or adopted the Kremlin’s critique of Ukraine. The country was a “pure client state of the United States State Department” said Carlson. “Spare me the performative affection for the Ukraine” said Vance on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast.
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Eric Kaufmann is professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and an adjunct fellow of the Manhattan Institute.
This piece originally appeared in UnHerd