September 2, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Conservatives Offer Us Putin’s ‘Shortest Speech Ever’
Below is text of a supposed speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It continues to make its way around conservative circles on social media:
Please don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just passing this on as an interesting read. I suggest that every intelligent, clear thinking, open minded person in every non-muslim country pay attention to Vladimir Putin’s advice. How scary is that? It is a sad day when a communist leader makes more sense than our leaders here in the U.S.A. and Europe, but here it is:
Vladimir Putin’s speech – SHORTEST SPEECH EVER.
On August 04, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia:
“In Russia, live like Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, it should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and want to live the life of Muslim’s then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law. “Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries, but they will not take over Russia. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims.
“When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should keep in mind the Russian national interest first, observing that the Muslim Minorities Are Not Russians.”
The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.
“Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be to-morrow.”
First, I’m not sure what the Jefferson and Madison quotes have to do with this supposed speech by Putin. I mean, there really is no connection. Jefferson is talking about the tendency of power to pervert itself into tyranny over time. And Madison is talking about laws that do not go through a proper vetting by the people and their elected officials. It should be noted that unless we believe we are living in a country with no framework, then we have accepted that we do indeed have a form of government as written in the United States Constitution. And this form of government offers the checks and balances and vetting necessary to ensure laws are not ordered by decree. This of course is no reason to become passive and assume the system is not with fault. But I say again, I don’t know what the hell this has to do with the purported speech by Vladimir Putin.
And I should also point out that the person who originated this social media post couldn’t even get the Jefferson quote right. This is the proper quote:
[E]xperience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Maybe that’s nitpicky, but I say get it right if you are going to quote people, especially a Founding Father.
Now, about the speech by Putin. It never happened. But that is almost beside the point now that we are dissecting the text.
The more interesting aspect to this social media post is that it offers us an insight into the conservative mind. Read the “speech” again. This is highly jingoistic language, and it is being held up by conservatives as an example of how our leaders should be talking, even acting.
First, I love the beginning of the post where it says “Please don’t shoot the messenger.” Actually, I’ll make that decision for myself, and I have decided I will indeed metaphorically shoot the messenger, because the messenger is passing this “speech” along to make a statement. Hence, the speech might as well be this person’s speech. So, this person deserves to be metaphorically shot just as much as the person who originated this text. As a general rule, when someone says “don’t shoot the messenger,” its a good idea to metaphorically load your gun.
Next, the “speak Russian” part is pretty much the instant giveaway that this “speech” originated from conservative America. Just replace “Russian” with “English.” Conservatives have a huge hangup on people speaking languages other than English. I’m not really sure why they feel so threatened by other languages, but they are, and they make it known, loudly, and sometimes in very bad English.
Now we move on to the part where “we will not grant them [minorities] special privileges.” This would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. This is what people of privilege say to people who are still fighting for equality. Of course there are no laws that need to be changed, it’s minds that need to be changed. And for people of privilege, the thought that they might have to think of minorities as their equal is a bridge too far.
That this speech mentions Muslims often, and things like Sharia law, offers us evidence supporting the hypothesis that this “speech” originated from conservative America, not Russia.
This is how the conservative mind works. A high value is placed on in-group collectivism, patriotism, nationalism, and worse. If you look different, if you talk different, if you worship a different God, you are the “other” and you must change, you must assimilate, or you must leave, or worse.