Putin: ‘Authoritarianism is The Secret to My Success’

kre

‘No one really likes me’

Russian president Vladimir Putin says he’s enjoying the positive coverage he’s getting from the endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump but he doesn’t want to give the impression his success is all about his leadership skills; it helps to be an authoritarian, he says.

Putin says he could never work his will if he couldn’t jail critics or have them killed, which takes care of a lot of opposition. He also takes advantage of a rubber-stamp legislative body and gets to set the terms of his election, which is better than running campaign ads, even if they’re good ones.

“Truth be told, it helps to do what you want without checks and balances,” he says. “Sure, I’m a good leader. I’m strong. But at the end of the day, I never lose sight of the real source of my strength: my authoritarianism.”

 Mikhail Khorkovsky

Khorkovsky: a critic, once

Putin cited his annexation of Crimea as a case in point. “Was it a good idea to put Russian troops on the ground and invade? That’s a question that doesn’t lend itself to a simple answer,” he says. “But because I can do whatever I want, my action looks tough and decisive. I don’t have to worry about legislators holding hearings and calling my ministers to testify under oath. And there’s no independent judiciary to check what I’m doing and no government accountability office publishing a report detailing my missteps and asking whether the policy makes sense.”

He also says he can have journalists and others who criticize his actions imprisoned or killed. “And that helps a lot,” he says.

s-grab

‘He can take his shirt off’

“The fact is,” he says, “it would be hard to be a decisive leader in the United States. I don’t envy presidents at all. They’re hounded by the media on the wisdom of their decisions, Members of Congress pick apart their policies. They have to go before voters without getting the chance to pick their opponents. And then there’s the public relations nightmares. Think of the crap I’d have to take if, as president, I had those pictures taken of me with my shirt off. I used government money to pay for those, you know. I would have been a laughingstock! But I can get away with it because who wants to get thrown in prison for embarrassing me? No one!

“So, just to be clear, it’s nice to get a pat on the back from Mr. Trump, but when you come down to it, it’s just my authoritarianism that accounts for my strong leadership. For all people know, I could be kind of stupid and my decisions dumb. But I can get away with it. Hopefully I won’t wake up 20 years from now and realize I made a bunch of really bad decisions! But, even if I did, no one can do anything about it! ”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): kre, ma, sg (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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