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November 7, 2022

Gulnaz Sharafutdinova explains why Russians still support Putin:

If a minority of Russians were roused to anger by the invasion, the majority were in a state of shock. In days, Russia had become a pariah, cut off from international travel and targeted with deep sanctions. It was profoundly disorienting. To navigate this uncharted territory, Russians in the main reached for familiar moral ground: collective national identity. “My country, right or wrong” was the default reaction. One message from a popular movie star resonated intensely: “You don’t criticize your own folks in war, even if they are wrong.” Instead, people blamed President Joe Biden, NATO expansion and the West, as well as Ukrainian nationalists.

GullibleRussiansMany Americans seem to think that America is uniquely patriotic. Or uniquely deserving of patriotism. Which is exactly the kind of thought that patriotism causes, in every nation. Mona Charen complains that the Americans who are the most overtly patriotic also are the ones who most tarnish America’s reputation. She finds that incongruous, because she has bought into the patriotic notion of how patriotism works. Sharafutdinova understands it better.

Cartoon by Ward Sutton.

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