Russian billionaire and New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov announced his intentions to run against the reigning Vladimir Putin in the March presidential elections.
The man is considered a rock star in Russia. He is notorious for his partying and excess. It is unlikely that he will threaten Putin, but his name alone will create a ton of buzz.
However, the opposition-leader believes Prokhorov’s candidacy is intended to help Putin. There have been mass protests of the Kremlin recently since there was report a fraud in the December 4th parliamentary elections. Allegedly, they expect Prokhorov to rally these protestors by way of his popularity and convince them to vote for Putin.
I believe the concept of dirty hands applies in a way that is not in the United States’ best interest. It’s possible that what Putin is doing is what is best for his country. By getting votes in the least clean of ways, he is assuring his path to the presidency (again). Which from a Russian perspective is not the worst thing.
Putin’s popular in Russia because he has maintained them to a World power after the Cold War ended. His thirst for dominance is clear. He ran on the campaign slogan “Putin’s Plan: Russia’s Victory.”
Putin emerging from an election in a defiant landslide is good for his image and more so the image of Russia. Especially when the United States has so much partisanship and seems to be led by a government that cannot produce results, it looks great for Russia to have a strong capable leader who can accomplish goals with overwhelming support from his country.
Let’s say Putin wins the election with by a comfortable but not all that strong of a margin. It makes him look weaker. It could cause people to question his ability and control over of the population. It puts Putin in a worse position to lead.
Machiavelli said that the leader “who rests wholly on Fortune is ruined when she changes” (185). Putin just might be deserving of Russia’s confidence to “follow evil if he must” (128).
It is possible that maybe the people do not know what is best. And that is the reason leaders have the positions they do.
Looking at this from a Russian perspective is Putin acting in everyone’s best interest? Does the United States have an obligation to call foul? If they do will they follow through?