Why Do Russian-Speaking Immigrants Always Vote Republican?

The Russian-speaking immigrant community is obviously too small for it to be an important factor in any elections, but if you were ever curious who it voted for and why, I will provide an answer in this post.

The absolute majority of Russian-speaking immigrants is rabidly conservative. And when I say the “majority”, I mean everybody except me and N. This is probably the only immigrant group that fully and passionately identifies with the anti-immigrant stance of the US Republicans.

So why does the immigrant group that finds it harder than any other to adapt to the life in the US always vote for the party of people who dislike immigrants?

Here are some answers:

1. Racism. The Aryan Brotherhood would be shocked to hear the amount of racist garbage a quiet, nerdy Russian-speaking immigrant (from here on referred to as RSI) who is a college professor of chemistry or a nurse can unleash within the space of one minute. One of the reasons I avoid RSIs is that I can’t deal with the racist comments that come out of their mouths two minutes after we get introduced to each other.

2. RSIs come share a history that is so cruel and painful that the idea of social compassion is alien to them. It is useless to try to bring up the suffering of the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, the needy. The everybody-for-himself dog-eat-dog mentality is so deeply ingrained that the idea that somebody somewhere might get help is rejected out of hand.

3. The Cold War mentality and rhetoric are embraced passionately by the RSIs. The absolute majority of them are miserable as immigrants. They cannot, of course, accept that their decision to emigrate was a mistake, so they console themselves with the myth of American exceptionalism and support the US invasions of other countries.

4. The RSIs lead a very feminist existence yet compensate for that by promoting a passionately anti-feminist discourse.

5. If there is any sentiment that is more vicious than the RSI racism, it is its homophobia. As a result, the idea of gay rights is personally traumatizing to the US RSIs.

6. The concept of paying taxes is historically alien to an RSI. Paying taxes that would go into any form of a social safety net is even more alien.

7. On a more metaphysical level, the RSIs are bothered by the idea of change because, historically, they have experienced too much instability. The greatest personal transformation they have gone through (the emigration) turned out to be a mistake. This is why they cling to conservatism.

8. The words “socialism” and “communism” carry a very personal and painful set of connotations for an RSI for reasons that I hope I don’t have to explain.

9. An immigrant community that is as deeply alienated from its new country as the RSI community will always try to identify with the political movement that manages to sell itself as representing the most authentic local values and lifestyles. Voting Republican permits an RSI to feel like, for that single moment of casting a vote, s/he finally belongs.

10. RSIs very rarely speak English well. As a result, the only English-language TV and radio they can access linguistically is the least sophisticated one. And we can all guess which channels and stations are the simplest to understand on the level of language competency.

152 thoughts on “Why Do Russian-Speaking Immigrants Always Vote Republican?

      1. We are talking about a community that finds it exceptionally hard to inscribe itself into a capitalist society. So this is not about love of capitalism because it isn’t there.

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  1. You’re very harsh, but even if I put my own political preferences (that mostly coincide with yours) aside, you’re wrong in none of the above. For some more ambigious ones it would be more difficult to prove, but even there I think you’re spot-on.

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    1. It pains me to admit these things about my own immigrant community. But I believe that it’s best to be honest and not pretend like this isn’t happening.

      Thank you for the support!

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  2. I get the impression that the Eastern Orthodox Church’s view of social issues is rather like the official Catholic stance (correct me if I’m wrong). Might another possible explanation be that many RSI’s are devoutly Orthodox, and therefore fit in better with the RP on social issues? (Going beyond homosexuality, which you already touched on).

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    1. Actually, most of these immigrants don’t practice any religion. Even inside Russia, only 2% of people are affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church. Among the immigrants who grew up during the Soviet era, there is no religious feeling.

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      1. As illogical as it may sound, there is no contradiction – people are (and were in Soviet time) very socially conservative, without being overtly religious. It just might have been not very obvious in the big cities…

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  3. “The greatest personal transformation they have gone through (the emigration) turned out to be a mistake.”

    How so? I’d be interested in hearing more about this from you. The RSIs I see around me couldn’t be happier to live in the US. They love being here because it’s only here that they’re adequately compensated for their valuable skills (programming, math, science, etc.). But then again, being in higher education and in a STEM field, perhaps my sample is not representative.

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    1. I wrote about this in my early posts. Here and here, for example. If they are from Russia, in terms of money, they would be better compensated back home today. And accepting this knowledge is very painful to them.

      But nobody lives on money alone. Culturally, what my people expect, what they can absorb and interiorize, has no place in emigration. Of course, they don;t confess they are miserable, but they live from one trip back home to the next. Even those who were brought here as children.

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      1. I sometimes wonder if not most immigrants are actually miserable, from anywhere to anywhere, with some rare exceptions. It takes exceptional openness and curiosity to fully embrace life in a new country. I am failing at it, and from checking out other expat blogs, and from reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s book on Indian immigrants in the US, I have the impression many other people are too. I admire anyone who is, like you, able to really feel at home, and be happy, in a new country!

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        1. This is very interesting. I only speak about my own immigrant community because that is what I know. I can also say that the Hispanic immigrants adapt extremely well. But otehrs, I simply don’t know.

          I will now seek out Lahiri’s book because your comment made me wonder.

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          1. I like Lahiri’s books very much. I hope you will too. I also really like your posts about the RSI and I hope you will write more of them, this is a fascinating and complex topic. Could it perhaps also be that for Russians it is more culturally acceptable to complain about and reject new/foreign things than for Hispanic people? I don’t know either culture but I notice huge differences in this between for example Germans and Italians on the one side and Americans on the other side. Maybe Latin-American people are just more similar to Americans in this… they are used to immigration and accepting new things from the immigration that occurred generations ago.

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            1. “Could it perhaps also be that for Russians it is more culturally acceptable to complain about and reject new/foreign things than for Hispanic people?”

              – There is a lot of truth to it. We are raised to despise “foreigners” and believe that “we” are universally smarter than “they.” The foreigners we are especially trained to despise are Americans. So you can imagine how hard it must be to come to a place where you expect everybody to be stupid and, therefore, pose no competition and discover that you are sorely mistaken.

              When I came to Canada, I was shocked to discover that, far from being blabbering idiots, my fellow students were a lot more knowledgeable than I was.

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  4. This sounds exactly like my Cuban relatives, my family is mostly Cuban so I can totally relate. I’m probably the only non-Republican in my family and their attitudes about race, homosexuality and the government sound just like the Russian immigrants you mentioned above. My mother insists she’s not a racist but then she makes jokes about African-American people and Jews and Muslims and other Latinos like Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, in her mind racists are those freaks on Jerry Springer who are in the KKK. And of course, most of my family worship money and success, they were landowners and businesspeople in Cuba and think making lots of money is the best thing ever. Since I work at a school I’m poor compared to them but I honestly wouldn’t be able to make in business, I have no head for it. If a Russian and a Cuban hooked up, watch out 😀

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  5. 9. An immigrant community that is as deeply alienated from its new country as the RSI community will always try to identify with the political movement that manages to sell itself as representing the most authentic local values and lifestyles. Voting Republican permits an RSI to feel like, for that single moment of casting a vote, s/he finally belongs.

    If you think of it a bit, it works the same for those who did not emigrate anywhere – they identify with “the most authentic local values and lifestyle”, which in Russia seem to be the admiration of the “strong national leader” (Putin; I recently came across “КОМУ ПРЕЗИДЕНТ НЕ ОТЕЦ ТОМУ И РОДИНА НЕ МАТЬ” in somebody’s blog, at that was not a parody) and weird pervasive renaissance of not only Ortodoxy per se, but of church’s influence in public, political and social affairs…

    Also, as strange as it may sound, I am very surprised that RSI do not integrate into American society… I see two societies extremely similar in their view of patriotism, religion and many other issues… If only both sides did not believe that they are + while the other is – 🙂 :).

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    1. The conservative americans they share values with hate immigrants. In the meantime, the progressive americans who could have accepted them will abhor the ultra-conservative beliefs of the RSIs. Of course, there are anti-immigrant pseudo-progressives which complicates everything even further.

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      1. —The conservative americans they share values with hate immigrants.

        Not sure it is that simple. My impression is that they do not hate those who are a) white and b) sincerely subscribe to their conservative agenda.

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        1. I had ample opportunities to spend time with Republicans back in grad school. And their hatred of me was evident from the moment they’d see me. Although I’m very white. 🙂

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  6. My experience with Russian immigrants was with Pentecostal Christians. They had all the negative characteristics you describe, plus being religious (or so they said). I always thought of them as being like prisoners on parole, trying to adjust to freedom. They were so belligerent, always complaining in class and always objecting to having to share the language classes I taught with other nationalities. They were such a pain, but we were as good to them as they made it possible to be, considering how rude they were to us.

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  7. What a fascinating post. I have a very limited experience of Russian immigrants – one couple I met when my (now ex-) husband and I lived in Dallas, TX for a year.

    Texas is very conservative and we tended to migrate to people who were foreign to the state. One couple we had a marvellous time with was a Russian couple. This was back in 1999 so my memory is a bit hazy, but we chatted to them about living in Texas, and they had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand they had a lovely home, happy kids and good jobs, but I got the feeling there was something missing.

    We felt it too although it wasn’t so bad for us because we were going back home after a year (and what a relief that was!). I think your average Texan could out-conservative any RSI, but our friends were not bigots. I think they just missed the cultural references they left behind in Russia, which is not unusual for any immigrant. I do too for the UK.

    We found our friends much more fun and much better at parties than the Americans around us, and one of the best times we had was with their Cuban friends who also knew how to party.

    So maybe they don’t fall into your RSI category, I’d like to think so, but maybe we didn’t know them well enough to find out.

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    1. This is a very closed community that rarely, if ever, opens up to strangers. The real sign that you have been accepted by RS is if they started making nasty comments to your face. It is customary to put one’s best face to greet a foreigner. The more foreign that foreigner is the better welcome s/he gets. But that’s all just a show. The only true measure of being accepted is when a RS tells you you are fat, your clothes are horrible and you look sick. 🙂

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  8. Approximately 50 per cent of Americans lean towards the Republican Party. They do not agree with each other on all aspects of policy, as indeed the Party leadership does not. So there is plenty of room in the tent for Russian immigrants. The republican Party, in my judgment, is more favorable to limited government, private property rights, and capitalsim than is the Democratic Party – though the two parties overlap on these issues inevitably. So Russian immigrants may well lean republican because Putin’s Russia does not support those ideals at all.

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  9. charlesrowly, your scheme is quite good, but it does not explain racism, present both in Russia and among RSI. I believe it is more about superiority/”culture bringer” complexes. Also, Russia has all the wild capitalism you want now, one does not have to emigrate to the US to enjoy it. In other words, I still believe in RSI (and Russians back in Russia) being very similar to conservative Americans (in spirit), rather than in “let’s do the opposite of what we had back in Russia/SU” kinds of arguments…
    Speaking of averages, I hope no one takes it personally.

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    1. I can’t imagine any Russian-speaker being pro-small, weakened government. The experience we all have had with such a government during the wild capitalism stage was what we all know it was.

      The Russian mentality was always pro-big, powerful government. There has been no reason for it too change.

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      1. This is only partially true, and only of RSIs who emigrated post 1996 or so. Those of Jewish descent who left the country as early as they could (1991-1992) did not witness the demise, so they swear by the no-spending government in the U.S. to spite socialism; no taxes follows from the no-spending. (I specifically point out the ethnic origins here as ethnic Russians and other nationalities started spilling out of the country a tad later when their military R&D jobs dried up.)

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  10. The problem in a nutshell is this is all “an academic’s opinion” which is all I need to know. Morons all.

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  11. What makes you think Hispanics or Asians are less racist than Russians? I know plenty of racist Hispanics who voted for Obama and will vote for Obama again because he’ll increase the welfare state you seem to be making VERY wild generalizations about people you obviously don’t know much about. Racism is in every human.

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  12. Are RSI’s miserable and have made a mistake for coming here everywhere in the US?

    I can see things not working out too well if you end up in New York, Miami, SF or LA due to the sky high cost of living, but what if one moved to more affordable places like Texas or Chicago?

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    1. “Are RSI’s miserable and have made a mistake for coming here everywhere in the US?”

      – Yes.

      “I can see things not working out too well if you end up in New York, Miami, SF or LA due to the sky high cost of living, but what if one moved to more affordable places like Texas or Chicago?”

      – If your life is 100% concentrated on money and on absolutely nothing else whatsoever, then sure. Have you ever tried living in a foreign language and in a culture whose every aspect is completely alien to you? There isn’t enough money in the universe to compensate for that.

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  13. Clarissa, I like your site! My husband and I are liberal, pro-Democratic RSIs and we are surrounded by a crowd of very angry conservative family members and friends. It sucks to be a minority, but we are naturalized enough to stay away from the herd and have our own opinion…

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  14. Thank you for your analysis, Clarissa! As a liberal-minded RSI, I have always been embarrased by the prevalence of the worst kind of xenophobia and ultraconservatism in the Russian community. I am lucky to have intelligent and creative liberal Russian friends but we realize that we are a small minority. Extended family gettogethers though, especially around election time, are torturous. The most hilarious conservative RSIs are the elderly SSI recipients who never worked a single day in this country, try to milk the government for every penny they can get (in-home support, subsidised apartments, MediCal, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.), yet espouse radical Republican ideas (hatred of social safety nets, lower taxes, anti-immigrant and racist attitudes, etc.).
    To quote Gary Shteyngart, one of my favorite modern Russian-American novelists, “feelings of oppression that began within the anti-Semitic confines of the Soviet Union are turned from a defensive to an offensive stance under the false perception that the Democratic Party is indistinguishable from the Communist Party of the USSR. I have long felt that, in answer to the question posed by Norman Podhoretz in his book Why Are Jews Liberal? is that American Jews, who are mostly descendants of immigrants from the pre-1914 Russian Empire, are liberals because they’re still voting against the Czar. It follows that recent Russian Jewish immigrants are conservatives because they’re still voting against Leonid Brezhnev”.
    How do we fix it? How come a fairly educated immigrant group is so deficient in nuanced political thinking to put it politely?
    A.M.

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  15. P.S. Granted, most RSIs are pro-choice (apparently, abortion was their favorite pastime back in the old country) and support some form of gun control.

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  16. Great post, Clarissa! Very funny and insightful , however it does not explain why even those adults who are children of RSIs and who grew up here in the US are also rabid conservatives? Your post is correct ,but leaves one of the most important factors out :almost all RSIs are Jewish and almost every single Soviet and /or Russian Jewish adult initiative focused on Israel advocacy. For them Israel comes first…If you ask them to explain why they hate Obama so much , they may or may not say that they think he is a communist who supports muslims , but they will always ,always say that he does not support Israel , that voting for Obama is the same as “throwing Israel under the bus.”…Israel became a left/right issue in a presidential campaign, and the right flogged it with absolutely all their might.

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    1. “Very funny and insightful , however it does not explain why even those adults who are children of RSIs and who grew up here in the US are also rabid conservatives”

      – It is extremely hard for Russian-speakers to adapt to the country they emigrate to. I know people who were brought here as babies, yet they only live for their two-yearly trips back to the country they don’t even have any childhood memories from.

      “almost all RSIs are Jewish and almost every single Soviet and /or Russian Jewish adult initiative focused on Israel advocacy. For them Israel comes first…If you ask them to explain why they hate Obama so much , they may or may not say that they think he is a communist who supports muslims , but they will always ,always say that he does not support Israel ”

      – This is definitely true. I’ve heard this mantra of “Yes, that’s true but Israel. . .” too many times to count. However, I also know quite a few non-Jewish Russian immigrants and they share the exact same rabidly conservative views. Even the people I know in Russia are all pro-Romney, in spite of everything that Romney said about Russia. Dog-eat-dog capitalism and racism unite to make people who never left Russia in their anti-Obama views.

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  17. Sorry, but it is an absolute BS. I have been in this country 12 years, I speak fluent English, work as a RN in one of the most prominent hospitals in Canada, helping people and promoting the idea of help and compession for many years. All my friends are doing the same thing and feel like a very valuable part of Canadian society. They can proudly say that they pay taxes without regret and they consider their immigration the most thoughtful thing they ever did in their life. So i feel that your generalizing of all Russian immigrants is quite offensive and very narrow-minded. Apparently, you were not lucky enough to meet those people who whould make u to change your very rigid opinion on this matter. Too bad.

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  18. When you talk about RSIs, do you realize that they include Sergey Brin, Mila Kunis, thousands of Wall Street professionals, artists, musicians? Quite a few became religious. If you want to critisize the group, at least don’t generalize.

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    1. “thousands of Wall Street professionals, artists, musicians”

      – Are you stupid or are you just pretending?

      “Quite a few became religious”

      – Freaks.

      “If you want to critisize the group, at least don’t generalize.”

      – And who the hell are you to give me unsolicited advice? What kind of a pigsty were you raised in to have such horrible manners?

      Nothing shocks me more than such horrible rude, stupid people coming here to insult me for nothing more than daring to voice my opinion on my own blog.

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      1. How did I insult you? I don’t agree with your opinion, that’s all. You insult a group of hard working immigrants who make areas where they live much better. Of course, there are individual exceptions but as a group RSIs contribute a lot to USA.
        They are freaks because they became religious? You’d fit perfectly in USSR. You insult me for stating my opinion. What a great pigsty you grew up in!

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        1. “How did I insult you?”

          – Seriously? You normally bark commands at complete strangers and they never tell you that you are extremely rude?

          “Of course, there are individual exceptions but as a group RSIs contribute a lot to USA.”

          – Have you tried reading the post you are commenting on? If you do, you will manage to observe that you are arguing with voices in your head and not with anything I ever said. When did I ever discuss “contributing” or “not contributing”? When did I say that somebody does not contribute? I don;t even use such idiotic language.

          “They are freaks because they became religious? ”

          – Yes. Do you always require things to be repeated twice to you? People who become religious to fit in better after immigration are freaks. And losers.

          “You’d fit perfectly in USSR.”

          – I grew up in the USSR. This is why I know what I’m speaking about. And you just blab stupidly.

          “You insult me for stating my opinion. ”

          – What opinion? You come here, bark unsolicited, idiotic advice at me, show that you haven’t even tried reading the post you are commenting on and then get all prissy when I push back at your attempt to bully me?

          “What a great pigsty you grew up in!”

          – You remind me of a person who stops to listen in to a conversation of strangers, listens for a while, then yells, “Ah, you are both jerks!”, and moves on.

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      2. People who become religious to fit in better after immigration are freaks. And losers.

        I’ve always wondered about that. What I’m noticing where I live (Detroit) is a pattern among some of the Arabic-speaking immigrants. The Walgreens where I get my prescriptions is staffed mainly by both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants with Arabic surnames on their name tags, and at least half of them, at any given time, are wearing cross lapels or other Christian-themed jewelry. Perhaps they are Lebanese Christians (Maronites) or Chaldean Catholics observing traditions they were born into, and perhaps they are converts to Christianity. Another possibility that I’ll admit has occurred to me is that they wear these symbols (which may or may not reflect their actual beliefs) to make themselves more approachable or less suspect in a social matrix that unfortunately is overflowing with anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. The Protestant style of the crosses (no “gymnast” present) combined with the fact that a few even wear crosses filled in with portions of the United States flag suggest either conversion to Evangelical Christianity or display of God-n-country imagery as an act of assimilation or public relations. The former I respect utterly as a matter of conscience and conviction, while the latter breaks my heart–if true, it is a symptom of my country’s immaturity. Ultimately I don’t know or care what sentiments are behind this not-especially-subtle observable trend. Any of these possibilities are of course entirely within their rights. And I’m not in the mood to ask about it.

        This all reminds me of another thing I’ve been wondering about: Is the pharmacy profession, in general, developing a cultural tendency toward conservative Christianity. More than any other profession or occupation, the pharmacists seem to have picked up this notion that there’s something akin to “conscientious objector status” in the workplace, that is, if your job description includes things you don’t believe in (like, say, the “morning after pill”–or–and this is where it gets personal for me–my estrogen prescription), you can opt out of those parts, but still stay on staff and do the other parts of the job. I grew up under the assumption that if I’m going to be picky about what jobs I’m willing to do, well, I’ll have fewer opportunities to choose from, and that’s just a fact of life. Is the demographics of the pharmacy profession somehow more religious that the demographics of the American public at large? It seems counterintuitive to think that an ostensibly scientific discipline would fall into that category, but there seem to be signs….

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        1. “This all reminds me of another thing I’ve been wondering about: Is the pharmacy profession, in general, developing a cultural tendency toward conservative Christianity. More than any other profession or occupation, the pharmacists seem to have picked up this notion that there’s something akin to “conscientious objector status” in the workplace, that is, if your job description includes things you don’t believe in (like, say, the “morning after pill”–or–and this is where it gets personal for me–my estrogen prescription), you can opt out of those parts, but still stay on staff and do the other parts of the job.”

          – This is SO true!!! I also have a feeling that pharmacists specifically are getting more radicalized. OB-GYNs aren’t. I feel they are going in the opposite direction, that of getting less judgmental. But the pharmacists definitely are becoming more fundamentalist.

          The first time I was getting a prescription for contraceptives at my local pharmacy, I could swear the pharmacist looked at my ring finger and immediately grew 30 degrees warmer when she saw I had one. Obviously, this is all subjective, but this is the feeling I had.

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      3. I heard that there was a suggestion by the religious wrong a few years ago for their followers to deliberately become pharmacists for the purpose of using refusal clauses. Something tells me that they only want conscience clauses for themselves. If (say) a Quaker, Mennonite, Jain, or other pacifist joined the military and then demanded an exemption from serving on religious grounds, I don’t expect the religious wrong to line up and support those people.

        And anyway, refusal clause people ought to be careful what they wish for:

        Muslim medical students are refusing to obey hygiene rules brought in to stop the spread of deadly superbugs, because they say it is against their religion.

        Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.

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  19. Why are you so angry? You can’t tolerate people who don’t agree with you? I’m not surprised. You grew up in USSR. Start appreciating opinions of others. Perhaps, some RSIs will learn from you.

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    1. You definitely have issues, buddy. You can’t understand a simple statement from a third try. This is just bizarre. I’m angry because a day doesn’t pass when some stupid twat doesn’t believe s/he is entitled to give me orders. Reread the first comment you left on my blog and try to concentrate. In that statement you use a verbal form called “a command.”

      As for disagreement, I have no idea what you do or don’t agree with. You never managed to express an opinion on the subject of my post.

      I hope this serves as a lesson to you and you learn how to behave like a normal person.

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  20. Dear Clarissa,
    I’m so sorry for making you angry. Why don’t you start appreciating opinions of others? Just a suggestion. I feel your pain. Your Communist/Komsomol leader didn’t explain to you. It’s OK for people to become religious and/or vote Republican.

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    1. “Why don’t you start appreciating opinions of others? Just a suggestion.”

      – For the 6th time, you have never expressed any opinions on the subject of the post. Just express one already. Do you believe that the RSIs don’t vote Republican? Or you think they vote Republican for other reasons that the ones I’ve listed?

      “Your Communist/Komsomol leader didn’t explain to you.”

      – I was neither in the Komsomol nor in the Communist Party.

      ” It’s OK for people to become religious and/or vote Republican.”

      – Yes, it is. It is also OK to express opinions on those choices. Which is what I did.

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  21. “For the 6th time, you have never expressed any opinions on the subject of the post. Just express one already”.

    – Of course, I have. Read my first post. If you are too stupid to understand, I’ll try to explain in greater detail. Your 10 answers don’t apply to the entire group. There are tens of thousands of RSI examples to whom most, if not all, of your answers don’t apply. And those RSIs to whom your answers do apply are getting old and have adult children who are very different. Not only you don’t mention many accomplishments of the most successful immigrant community in US history, you apply negative parts to the entire community.

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    1. “If you are too stupid to understand, I’ll try to explain in greater detail. ”

      – Nobody addresses me in such a disrespectful way. Bye-bye, freakazoid. You are now banned.

      “the most successful immigrant community in US history”

      – What a brainless troll. Go kill yourself against a wall, idiot.

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  22. Clarissa, I enjoyed your exchange with Emma thoroughly!

    Funny, how some people can only hear themselves…There was no conversation in this blog about RSIs contributing or not contributing to the West.
    Only a discussion about why they vote republican …
    Especially , with so many of those, aforementioned RSI’s were able to enjoy free education in the former Soviet Union , including the highest possible post -graduate degrees.
    Of course, some of them are successful . Most of those successful ones vote republican.
    Others are not so successful . Some others are just miserable .
    Most of those vote republican too…
    A real paradox!
    And finally , why even a mention of people like Sergey Brin or Mila Kunis , when both of them came to the US when they were 6 and 7 years old? Can you even consider them RSIs? I certainly would not. They are as Russian as anybody who was born here in the US.
    BTW, both are Democrats …

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    1. “Can you even consider them RSIs? I certainly would not. They are as Russian as anybody who was born here in the US.
      BTW, both are Democrats …”

      – Exactly. The really interesting question is how their parents vote. My parents vote Conservative in Canada, even though I never would be caught dead voting for that party.

      “There was no conversation in this blog about RSIs contributing or not contributing to the West.
      Only a discussion about why they vote republican …”

      – This is exactly what I’m saying. Many people just want to talk to themselves. Which is sad.

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  23. Detouring back to the original question: Why do RSI’s vote Republican?

    short answer: The republicans better represent who they’d like to be. Who they are now or how many of their ambitions they’ve been able to fill or which party would actually act more in their interests are all secondary to that.

    Most people most of the time (in all places) vote on the basis of aspirational identity – the party or candidate that more closely represents who they’d like to be or the candidate which allows them to feel better about themselves for voting for them.

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  24. “There was no conversation in this blog about RSIs contributing or not contributing to the West.”
    – Of course, there was. “6. The concept of paying taxes is historically alien to an RSI. Paying taxes that would go into any form of a social safety net is even more alien.”
    What is this supposed to mean?

    “why even a mention of people like Sergey Brin or Mila Kunis , when both of them came to the US when they were 6 and 7 years old? Can you even consider them RSIs? I certainly would not.”

    – Aren’t they immigrants who speak Russian? Why do you pick only those RSIs who fit your description? By this logic any RSIs who came here younger than 18 s/b excluded. Now these people are 30-40 years old and represent RSI community just like older immigrants do. If you want to ignore them, it’s certainly up to you but by ignoring them you focus only on negative parts of RSI community.

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    1. Just decide whether you are Vasya or Emma already because this is getting too weird.

      “Of course, there was. “6. The concept of paying taxes is historically alien to an RSI. Paying taxes that would go into any form of a social safety net is even more alien.”
      What is this supposed to mean?”

      – That Republicans in the US hate the idea of taxes being raised. Did you not know this?

      “Aren’t they immigrants who speak Russian? Why do you pick only those RSIs who fit your description?”

      – These people are children of immigrants. Here, we are discussing actual immigrants, i.e. people who made a conscious choice to emigrate.

      “Now these people are 30-40 years old and represent RSI community just like older immigrants do.”

      – Mila Kunits does everything she can to disavow the Russian immigrant community. Not a week ago I heard an interview with her where she said she only ever speaks Russian to her parents. This means she doesn’t have a single Russian-speaking friend. I don’t blame her because I avoid RSIs like the plague, too.

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  25. Vasya:

    “- Aren’t they immigrants who speak Russian?”
    – no, they are not. They are not even immigrants , because they don’t have a native culture other than american culture .
    They are , in fact , Americans , no different from those who were born in this country .
    Regardless of their alleged ability to speak Russian.

    “The concept of paying taxes is historically alien to an RSI. Paying taxes that would go into any form of a social safety net is even more alien.”
    What is this supposed to mean?”

    – means what is said. Most RSIs try to avoid taxes , if they can . It is a fact . They don’t usually donate to charities either – another fact , Vasya

    “And a fact is the most stubborn thing in the world. ” ( Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita ) .

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  26. Clarissa – you are definitely overgeneralizing here. Among “RSI” (sic) you can find people from all walks of life, some doing great, some not doing so great, some voting for Democrats, others (like myself) preferring the GOP.

    In fact, in your overgeneralizing, you’re showing the very same Soviet traits you are accusing other “RSI” of.

    Some of your statements are simply wrong, for example “the concept of paying taxes is historically alien to an RSI.” Ever heard of the 13% tax in the Soviet Union, as well as meager salaries the Soviet government paid the workers?

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    1. “Among “RSI” (sic) you can find people from all walks of life, some doing great, some not doing so great, some voting for Democrats, others (like myself) preferring the GOP.

      – Why am I not surprised? 🙂 🙂

      “In fact, in your overgeneralizing, you’re showing the very same Soviet traits you are accusing other “RSI” of.”

      – Of course, you vote Republican. You are obviously illiterate, like all of their supporters. “Accusing of traits”? Seriously? And where exactly did I accuse anyone of “overgeneralizing”?

      “Ever heard of the 13% tax in the Soviet Union, as well as meager salaries the Soviet government paid the workers?”

      – Do you understand that this sentence doesn’t make sense grammatically?

      Every RSI commenter who alights on my blog proves my point that these people are incapable of finding a place in the new society and are trying to ingratiate themselves with those who despise them by adopting viciously conservative beliefs.

      Like

  27. Right – you did not accuse anyone of “overgeneralizing,” you do overgeneralize yourself. You try to distance yourself from the “RSI” but your tone and intolerance are quite Soviet. As of “finding a place in the new society” – excuse me, you really don’t know me or my situation. I have been living in the U.S more than a half of my life, and I have a well-paid job and an American spouse. As for my grammar, I find it totally ridiculous that a Soviet like you is criticizing it.

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    1. ” I have been living in the U.S more than a half of my life, and I have a well-paid job and an American spouse. ”

      – Buddy, you are hilarious. “A well-paid job and an American spouse”? I usually entertain my students with “He came inside with a brief-case and a look of desperation” but now I will use your phrase. My condolences to the stupid little spouse who agrees to be so high on your list of priorities. Just a little below a pay-check this poor thing stands. And it’s not even the thing herself, it’s her citizenship that qualifies her to be listed. This is very sad.

      “your tone and intolerance are quite Soviet”

      – You won’t understand, but I am absolutely proud of this.

      “As for my grammar, I find it totally ridiculous that a Soviet like you is criticizing it.”

      – A person who mentions his “spouse’s” citizenship as if it were some sort of achievement will never understand that I’m proud of my origins.

      Like

      1. You’re proud of your origins, yet you are pouring all kind of dirt on “RSI”? What exactly makes you better than other “RSI”? All I see is Soviet-style intolerance.

        As for my spouse – i mentioned her to disprove your dubious claim that “RSI” are alienated from their new country.

        Finally, I cannot believe that you’re allowed to teach anyone. Poor students.

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        1. “You’re proud of your origins, yet you are pouring all kind of dirt on “RSI”?”

          – Please refer your tendency to see statements of facts as “dirt” to your psychotherapist.

          “What exactly makes you better than other “RSI”?”

          – I’m specifically better than you in that I don’t use people for their citizenship and don’t rank my sex partners as being less important than my pay-check.

          “All I see is Soviet-style intolerance.”

          – We have already seen that your vision is a little deficient. I mean, the way you describe your miserable little wife is beyond offensive.

          “Finally, I cannot believe that you’re allowed to teach anyone. ”

          – Your belief system is of no interest to anybody.

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        1. “Which one is the mail-order spouse?”

          – Our interlocutor claims he is. Although I doubt he is telling the truth. “An American spouse” is a common fantasy among RSIs. 🙂

          Like

  28. Guess what? Your belief system is of no interest to anybody either. You’re a typical Soviet and you support the welfare state because that’s how you were raised in the Soviet Union. I support GOP because of many things, including my belief in the small government and low taxes.

    And I don’t see any real facts you mentioned in your post. They are all your opinions – very wrong ones, I must add.

    Like

    1. “Guess what? Your belief system is of no interest to anybody either.”

      – Sweetie, I’ve had over 2,000,000 visits to this blog from people who want to know all about my belief system. 🙂 🙂

      ” I support GOP because of many things, including my belief in the small government and low taxes.”

      – The American spouse purchased herself a fool. 🙂 You want a small government and you vote for the pro-huge government GOP??? Oh, Lordy. 🙂 🙂

      “And I don’t see any real facts you mentioned in your post. They are all your opinions – very wrong ones, I must add.”

      – Can you do me the favor and read what the header of this blog says? Are you capable of that enormous feat of intellect? If I introduce the blog by saying that it contains my opinions, you look like an idiot declaring, ‘It’s just your opinion!” Of course it is. And I announced it in huge letters.

      Like

    2. If you believe support of GOP leads to small government and low taxes, I have some swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you. As % of GDP, taxation and spending are both at near-all-time (more than 100 year) low right now.

      Like

      1. “If you believe support of GOP leads to small government and low taxes, I have some swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you.”

        – The poor freak supports the party that wants the government to stick huge objects inside people’s bodies against their will and police people’s sex lives and bodies. To him, that’s a small government. He lived here during the Bush administration, saw it create an enormous deficit, spend Clinton’s surplus and hand trillions of tax-payers’ money to welfare queens in 2007. And he still thinks that’s a small government. How can you argue with such a profound and nuanced understanding of reality?

        Like

  29. You said earlier that I have the tendency to see statements of facts as “dirt,” and then you claim that all you express here is opinions. Can’t you see you contradict yourself here? Where do you teach again? In some government-run special ed program, I assume?

    You are a typical homo soveticus and you’re doing a real disservice to the liberals who you claim to worship.

    Like

    1. “You’re doing a real disservice to the liberals who you claim to worship.”

      – OK, now the time has come for weird fantasies. Can you show me a quote from me where I “claim to worship” anybody?

      “You are a typical homo soveticus”

      – You said this 5 times already. I don’t know how else to inform you that yes, I am, and I’m happy to be one.

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  30. As a Russian speaking immigrant (now citizen) you forget that not all RSI live isolated form the community. Outside of Brighton Beach most have integrated fairly well. Secondly, a lot of this is speculative, stereotypical and downright offensive. I suggest maybe doing some research to back up your claims.

    I know plenty of Russian-speaking Republicans who are the farthest thing from Homophobic or American hating. I think you are using a small group to generalize a larger group.

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    1. And I suggest you analyze whether you are integrated as well as you think you are given that you just left an extremely rude comment at a stranger’s blog.

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      1. I do not think my response is that rude actually, doubtful and disagreeing, but rude is a stretch. Furthermore I am well integrated into the society, thank you. I apologize if it seemed rude, but in all honesty I was very offended by the remarks.

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          1. Except, it was posted publicly, which I found and read through google. Its not unsolicited when you post something on the internet for everyone to see and we have the right to disagree. Unsolicited advice is the most Soviet thing in the world? Clearly you don’t know much about the Soviet Union.

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            1. ” Its not unsolicited when you post something on the internet for everyone to see and we have the right to disagree.”

              – Yes, actually it is. Your command of the English language is not too good if you believe that everything posted online is a solicitation of advice. As for the right to disagree, it is the format of your comment that I find objectionable. “You should. . .” is not a way to address people.

              “Unsolicited advice is the most Soviet thing in the world? Clearly you don’t know much about the Soviet Union.”

              🙂 🙂 Do you have any more of these funny jokes? 🙂

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              1. I found this, I read an article I left a comment. That’s it. I really think you’re reading too much into this, and exaggerating for that matter.

                Everything we post online is open to scrutiny. There was an open comments section, and I left my opinion. That’s all there is too it.

                Calm down. This person wrote a not well researched article that I took major issue with. I commented, If she doesn’t like my comment she can delete it

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              2. “Everything we post online is open to scrutiny.”

                – Have any more platitudes to share?

                “There was an open comments section, and I left my opinion. That’s all there is too it.”

                – For the third time, your opinion was expressed in a rude fashion. It is absolutely abnormal to address strangers with ‘You should.’ Is this a very difficult thought for you that you are not managing to process it?

                “Calm down.”

                – And here you go again, with more advice. You really can’t help it, can you? :-))))

                “This person wrote a not well researched article that I took major issue with. I commented, If she doesn’t like my comment she can delete it”

                – OK, more weirdness. Why are we suddenly discussing me in the third person?

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              3. IF you do not want to be criticized do not post online. You posted it for the public. If you do not like criticism maybe you aren’t mature enough to post things. It seems like you cannot take criticism.
                Welcome to the world of blogging where everything you post can and will be criticized and judged.

                I apologize, I did not realize I was speaking to the author. Now, if we want to speak about rude, let us talk about your article. You generalized and stereotyped and called all RSI isolationist xeno/homophobes.

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              4. “IF you do not want to be criticized do not post online.”

                – Another unwanted advice. Man, you are hilarious. 🙂

                “If you do not like criticism maybe you aren’t mature enough to post things. It seems like you cannot take criticism.”

                – The only person who is getting criticized here is you. You are being criticized for being a rude typical post-Soviet immigrant who is miserable in the country to which he emigrated and who has no idea how to fit in.

                “Now, if we want to speak about rude, let us talk about your article. ”

                – So you speak about me in the third person and about yourself in the plural?? An article cannot be “rude.” How old were you when you learned English?

                ” You generalized and stereotyped and called all RSI isolationist xeno/homophobes.”

                – I know what I said, thank you. 🙂

                Am I being punked here because this is getting too funny. Has somebody tried to entertain me since the heavy posting of this morning? Folks, it’s working. I’ve been laughing for an hour.

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              5. Oh My G-d….I cannot believe….

                I love this country if I could give up my Russian citizen for free I would do it in a heartbeat, I have no love for Socialism or Russia. I am a proud American who loves the founding principles this country was founded on. Where did you get the idea I hate this country? Voting Republican doesn’t mean I hate this country.

                When I used the We and said let us talk. I meant you and me. As in, engage in a discussion…which you aren’t really capable of doing without throwing insults around. Your article was rude, the context of it was rude.

                I fit in fine, speaking of unwanted advice, what gives you the right to tell me what kind of a person or how assimilated I am? Furthermore, what gives you the right to tell RSI why they vote the way they do and what they believe?

                You know I expected more openness and less judgement from a supposed Professor of Spanish Literature.

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              6. “Your article was rude, the context of it was rude.”

                – Have you tried doing stand-up comedy? Because you’d make a killing, man.

                “Furthermore, what gives you the right to tell RSI why they vote the way they do and what they believe?”

                – Let’s do a small exercise in formal logic here. If I were addressing my article to Russian-speakers, would I really write it in English? No, probably not. So if I did write it in English, it must follow I wasn’t addressing Russian speakers. I have maybe 3 Russian-speaking readers altogether, and 2 of them are family members.

                “You know I expected more openness and less judgement from a supposed Professor of Spanish Literature.”

                – No, I don’t know. How could I? I have no idea who you are. :-))))))) But it’s OK, you can stay on the blog because I’ve been having a harsh day, you’ve made me laugh, it’s all good.

                Like

              7. And just so you don’t feel singled out, everybody who addresses me with “You should. . .” gets hammered on at this blog.

                Like

      2. I thought you liberals were supposed to be the “tolerant” ones? I didn’t see anything rude about her disagreement with your article. Your article was literally a personal attack on her and she left an intelligent reply. Get over it

        Like

        1. “I thought you liberals were supposed to be the “tolerant” ones?”

          – You thought wrong. Thinking seems to come hard to you. Deal.

          “I didn’t see anything rude about her disagreement with your article. ”

          – Who cares what you saw? You are boring and insignificant.

          ” Your article was literally a personal attack on her and she left an intelligent reply.”

          – You are also deranged if you believe random posts online personally attack you. See a psychiatrist.

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      3. So liberals aren’t tolerant? My understanding was liberals are supposed to be open-minded to differing views, no? Also, by “personal attack,” I think what SDB meant was that you zeroed in specifically to “attack” Captain Israel as opposed to attacking the argument that Captain Israel was making.

        It’s like the difference between saying to someone, “Your argument is wrong, and here’s why…” versus, “You’re an idiot…”

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        1. First of all, I said a hundred times that when I see the words “you should” directed at me by complete strangers, I stop reading. The only reason why this blog hasn’t turned into a cesspool, like many other popular blogs, is because I maintain high standards and fiercely resist everybody who tries to take liberties.

          As for “Liberals are supposed,” supposed by whom, exactly? I think the suppositions and assumptions are the responsibility of those who make them. I’m not interested in wasting my life on debating the suppositions of others.

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      4. Perfectly understandable, and it is good that you maintain high standards. My impression of liberals being open-minded comes from two things:

        1) They call themselves “liberal” 🙂

        2) They often say they are tolerant and open-minded to other views

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        1. Well, then maybe this should be taken up with those who call themselves Liberal and say these things. 🙂 I have never in my life called myself a Liberal. And I have written many posts on how I find the concept of “tolerance” to be detestable.

          I call myself a Progressive. Because I love progress. The word “Liberal” is based on liberty, and I find that vague and not extremely useful.

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      5. To play Devil’s Advocate, isn’t “Progress” also an arbitrary word though? One person’s progressive policy is another person’s regressive policy.

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        1. “To play Devil’s Advocate, isn’t “Progress” also an arbitrary word though?”

          _ I use the word “progress” in the meaning that was generated during the Enlightened era.

          “One person’s progressive policy is another person’s regressive policy.”

          – Can you gibe an example?

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      6. On the issue of tolerance, I personally believe tolerance is perfectly fine and needed in a society for differing views on how to accomplish progress in society. I do not believe in tolerance for views that wish to restrain freedom, rights, etc…however. For example, racism, sexism, etc…those types of views I would not be tolerant about.

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      7. Basically a lot of the classic policy disagreements between right and left I suppose you could say. Such as the more regulation vs less regulation arguments, the more government programs vs fewer government programs arguments, the belief that government can be larger and have a more active role in society versus having a skepticism of government and believing government should be used with prudence, etc…

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      8. If going by how progress was defined by the Enlightenment, then I am assuming you mean you are a progressive as in a believer in general progress, with a pragmatic approach regarding the best policies to enable progress, as opposed to having a specific leaning either towards left or right.

        Whereas the capital P “Progressives” in American society usually refers to those of a left-leaning political persuasion.

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        1. I don’t like the terminology of Left vs Right because it’s very culture specific and confusing. I prefer Progressive (as people who believe that everything changes and develops and that’s a good thing) vs Conservatives (who believe that everything changes and develops and that’s a bad thing, so we just need to preserve the old ways of being.)

          As an example, let’s take gay rights. Conservatives say, “But the definition of marriage has always been “between one man and one woman.” This is how it’s always been! Let’s preserve what has always been!”

          And Progressives respond, “What do we care what has always been? This is here and now, let’s change whatever stands in our way to happiness.”

          This can be applied to any contentious topic. Bothered by change? You are a Conservative. Feel excited by change? You are a Progressive. Easy-peasy. 🙂

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      9. I consider myself a progressive conservative 😀 I think the definition of conservative you are going by would be social conservative. I agree that the argument about how marriage has always been between a man and a woman so it should stay that way is silly. That has nothing to do with the underlying logic of whether it remaining between only a man and a woman makes any sense. I think that outside of the social issues however, the terms “conservative, ” “liberal,” “progressive,” etc…become more arbitrary.

        Also, change in certain things is not always good, and preservation of certain core values and institutions in society are essential. For example, outside of the social issues, I would say that conservatives love change. They love the free-market for example, which is all about constant change. And they love democratic government, which is also about constant change. But they see the preservation of certain things as essential to maintaining the market and the change it creates, to underwriting progress and a healthy society: i.e. hard work, individualism, self-reliance, enterprise, limited government, fiscal conservatism (i.e. prudence with how one spends money, whether their own budget or the government budget), etc…

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        1. “I think the definition of conservative you are going by would be social conservative.”

          – I’m a philologist, so I always look at what words mean. “Conservative” is based on “conserve” or “preserve.”

          “They love the free-market for example, which is all about constant change.”

          – If that’s so, then they shouldn’t want to retain the way the market practiced its freedom in 1814. They should, instead, embrace all of the ways in which the market has evolved: unions, regulations, etc.

          “But they see the preservation of certain things as essential to maintaining the market and the change it creates”

          – If you are in favor of letting the market be free (which is a goal I totally support), then there is no need to create artificial fences around it. The market will reward hard work and self-reliance on its own because that’s what it does. In the XIXth century, Marx predicted that capitalism would die under the weight of its contradictions. What he couldn’t imagine was how incredibly capable of transformation and adaptation capitalism is. The moment the working conditions improved to an 8-hour work day and a two-day weekend, all ideas of abolishing capitalism abandoned the masses. And that’s a great thing!

          I’m VERY pro-capitalism. But I’m pro-real capitalism, not recreating artificially the now dead and antiquated form of XIXth century capitalism.

          The only thing that confuses me is the “progressive system of taxation.” I understand why it’s called “progressive” in its literal meaning, but in its figurative meaning, it still escapes me.

          Like

      10. Yes, I don’t think most conservatives wish to take us back to the 19th century. There are some on the limited government side of the argument who take it to that extreme, and it also can seem that way due to the overly-simplified political discourse in this country, but I think what most conservatives seek is what you could call light and efficient regulation, i.e. regulation that is not overly burdensome but at the same time plenty adequate.

        Regulation is a tricky thing, because too little of it is bad, but too much of it is also bad. The reason is because too much regulation creates an economic environment whereby only the big companies can afford to operate because of the compliance costs and the small companies either get bought out or driven out of business. Thus you end up with a few very large, very powerful companies controlling an industry. This is why a lot of times large companies will support increasing regulation. But they’ll do so as long as they also get to have a say in crafting the regulations too.

        Another problem is that with all of the government regulatory agencies, no one pays each of them a whole lot of attention, but the individual industries they regulate do. The industries will lobby to get regulations friendly to the industry written and people friendly to the industry appointed to head the agency. Essentially, the government regulatory agency can end up becoming an entity that protects the industry instead of the citizens. A recent example of this was the Gulf Oil spill from BP. It turned out that BP was bribing the regulatory agency that was supposed to be watching it so that it could skirt meeting the regulatory requirements.

        In economics, this is called regulatory capture. So conservatives lean towards limited regulation where possible to try to prevent this. Now some industries HAVE to be heavily regulated regardless, for example the pharmaceuticals industry. The pharmaceuticals industry is controlled by a few very large, very powerful companies, because of how regulated the industry is. But we can’t really deregulate the industry either, so it’s just a necessary evil. Same with the automotive industry. Whereas say the computer and software industries are not nearly as regulated for example.

        There are other examples of where government regulation ends up doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do but it’s a two-way street because it also is very necessary too. In our political discourse unfortunately, everything gets way oversimplified. But from the conservative perspective, while too little regulation is not good, too much leads to an economy that only protects Big Business, stifles small business and entrepreneurship, and often does not protect the citizens. So there needs to be an appropriate balance.

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        1. In a rare development, I agree with everything you say here and don’t even have anything to add. 🙂 So yes, go Kyle!

          Seriously, great comment.

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      11. On unions, I think it depends on the union. The problem with unions is that they can end up being as bad as the businesses. A union technically speaking is oftentimes a legalized worker cartel. A free market prices one’s labor. One’s labor is the good/service they offer on the market. To artificially increase the price of that labor, unions are often formed. This is anathema to conservative belief in the free market. It is one reason why unions garnered a bad reputation over the years among many.

        That said though, on the other hand, in terms of fighting for worker safety, making sure companies do not cheat workers, etc…unions have often been a very good thing and are still very necessary in various industries.

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  31. I think it’s funny that you believe that there is something wrong with Russians being ‘racist’. White people are sooooo naive about this issue. You must have grown up in a bubble that makes you believe racism is a one-way street or that it’s always about ‘oppression’ rather than rooted in group competition. Russians come out of a place riddled with group conflict, and as immigrants, they enter a new home full of such rivalry.

    Do you have any idea how racist the Mexicans (who I admire for their work ethic and familial grounding) towards whites? As an insider to their culture, let me tell you that they have a seething hatred of us. It’s something that stems from experience when resources are scare. The recent ‘progress’ on racial fronts is largely due to excess of material goods, which creates less tension among people.

    I am white and my family is upper middle class, but I grew up in a city and neighborhood which had 50 percent hispanics and 30 percent blacks … the trick is that I speak fluent Spanish, and I can pass as being a hispanic (due to my jet black hair) if I dress the part.

    Wow … if you ever heard what these people say behind your back … let me tell you that blacks and hispanics HATE whites, more than you can imagine.

    Russian ‘racism’ is on par with any immigrant group.

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    1. Buddy, you need to seek mental health, like, yesterday. Have you suffered any brain damage? Because there are symptoms you are exhibiting that signal brain trauma.

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      1. Well I don’t see a post about how racist Mexicans are. They have a group called ‘The Race’ which organizes in America. Is that better than the racism Russians display? I think you are criticizing white racism because that’s socially acceptable, while condemning other forms of non-white racism are not.

        Russian immigrants are no different in their racism from any other ethnic group, they just happen to be white … which evidently makes their racism worse.

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        1. “They have a group called ‘The Race’ which organizes in America. Is that better than the racism Russians display?”

          – Much better.

          ” I think you are criticizing white racism because that’s socially acceptable, while condemning other forms of non-white racism are not.”

          – I’m not extremely interested in what you think.

          “Russian immigrants are no different in their racism from any other ethnic group, they just happen to be white … which evidently makes their racism worse.”

          – This is a weird set of assumptions I’m not very interested in deconstructing. Have you spent much time in the immigrant Russian-speaking community? I’m guessing not because if you had, you’d know that there are very few actual Russians among them.

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      2. My fiance and her family are Russian immigrants. They ARE anti-illegal immigration and I do detect some level of racism.

        Point is that most immigrants are racist.

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        1. “Point is that most immigrants are racist.”

          – That’s a silly point to make. Now, the interesting question is why you need to believe this so much.

          “My fiance and her family are Russian immigrants. They ARE anti-illegal immigration and I do detect some level of racism.”

          – So you know I’m right in every word I say here. 🙂

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  32. ^ I didn’t mean to imply that all hispanics and blacks hate whites, just that I have heard much more openly racist comments in their company (on account of the fact that I have been accepted as a pseudo hispanic by some of them) than I have from whites directed at hispanics or blacks.

    ***Not only that … the racism hispanics have towards blacks is extreme as well, perhaps more extreme than their attitude towards whites.

    If you only affiliate with ‘white’ hispanics or the more economical successful Hispanic immigrants, this attitude will of course be absent … but the Hispanic middle and working classes harbor disdain for outsiders.

    The point I’m trying to make is racism is tied to limited economic potential, which creates group rivalries. It’s not really a pathology, it’s a tribal survival mechanism.

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  33. Clarissa, you are very rude to people who are trying to mention some mistakes and misconceptions in your article. By the way, your article is not signed, but I assume it was written by you. I do not know where you were born but you know close to nothing about RSI. Go and educate yourself before writing articles, even on your own blog.
    Anoniomus.

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  34. Ha ha, yes spot on. I also searched why and came here! Sometimes being in the company of fellow RSIs talking about politics is very upsetting… The older generation more so. I just get up and walk over to another group, so I can still stay friendly with them and not reach the level of anger displayed in the comments here on both sides of the fence. Especially when they are family members… I try to treat this rabid conservatism as a mental illness – with kindness. I agree most of Russians are like that, but definitely not all… I also agree with your assessment that the least integrated into the american society are often the most republican.
    I am also from Khrarkiv, a few years older than Clarissa.

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      1. Yes, me too. Born in Kharkov.
        I was curious to why so many RSIs are conservative, racist and homophobic and googling saw your post. Very interesting perspective.

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  35. Well thats BS. I’m an “RSI”, a college age one, came to the states when I was a little kid with my Russian parents. And yes, I’m a conservative. But not for those idiotic liberal reasons that you stated. Its just that we believe in stability in culture and tradition. Look what liberalism has done to Western Europe and the parts of the US(east coast and Cali): The pussification of the western male through third wave feminism, complete disfigurement of the meaning of marriage and family structure, celebration of crime and thuggery.

    And its not “difficult” for us to fit in. The only thing that gives me away as not being born here is my slight accent when I speak too long. I’m in the US military and serving proudly along side my brothers in arms of different races and sexual orientations. And you’re full of shit.

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  36. Well thats BS. I’m an “RSI”, a college age one, came to the states when I was a little kid with my Russian parents. And yes, I’m a conservative. But not for those idiotic liberal reasons that you stated. Its just that we believe in stability in culture and tradition. Look what liberalism has done to Western Europe and the parts of the US(east coast and Cali): The pussification of the western male through third wave feminism, complete disfigurement of the meaning of marriage and family structure, celebration of crime and thuggery.

    And its not “difficult” for us to fit in. The only thing that gives me away as not being born here is my slight accent when I speak too long. I’m in the US military and serving proudly along side my brothers in arms of different races and sexual orientations. And you’re full of shit.

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  37. Well thats BS. I’m an “RSI”, a college age one, came to the states when I was a little kid with my Russian parents. And yes, I’m a conservative. But not for those idiotic liberal reasons that you stated. Its just that we believe in stability in culture and tradition. Look what liberalism has done to Western Europe and the parts of the US(east coast and Cali): The pussification of the western male through third wave feminism, complete disfigurement of the meaning of marriage and family structure, celebration of crime and thuggery.

    And its not “difficult” for us to fit in. The only thing that gives me away as not being born here is my slight accent when I speak too long. I’m in the US military and serving proudly along side my brothers in arms of different races and sexual orientations. You have no idea what you’re talking about. If you’re a left wing Russian-American you should be ashamed of yourself.

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    1. Poor dumb twat. Go tell your mamma about “pussification.” Let her die of shame for raising such a disgraceful little loser who uses such idiotic language.

      Here you are not wanted.

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      1. She’s actually very proud of me. I turned out alright. I’m not some whiny, jobless SJW retard that has nothing better to do than protest and call for communism in the US instead of doing something productive with their life.

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        1. I said you are not wanted here and ordered you to discuss “pussification” with your mamma. Now get to it. Don’t be so lacking in self-respect as to hang out where you are told you are not wanted.

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          1. See, you are the epitome of the liberal. You cant have civil discourse when someone steps out of your pathetic echo-chamber. You thought you’d have a circle jerk, but here is a Russian-American man that tells you that you’re an idiot based on actual facts and you have nothing to retort with but insult my mother. You’re an embarrassment.

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  38. Very good and true! One thing to add is that the Communists were always the democrats in USSR. Also, they were trained to understand strength, not weakness and any form of weakness is usually not tolerated i.e. going to the Psychologist etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. With exception of the following statement, I agree with the author/Clarissa, “The absolute majority of them are miserable as immigrants.”
    Even many of those who claim to be happy here (and they seem to be), still live in Russia in their hearts, habits, mentality, and traditions.

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      1. Clarissa, you seem to be a bit too bitter (“The absolute majority of them are miserable as immigrants”, “…scary extent”, etc.) but right in general.
        Maybe you measure all of us by New York Russians (they truly still live in the USSR who they hate and bad-mouth) and other middle-aged or elderly ones elsewhere, because hundreds and thousands of us in Chicagoland are doing quite well, especially the younger ones, and they cannot be put in the “miserable” category.
        Many of Russians I know get the information exclusively from Russian-speaking media that gives a biased and tailored commentaries and editorials instead of direct source/ broadcast, and they miss the body language and other subtleties of the events and newsmakers because of the poor or no English.
        But, again, in general I agree: racism, intolerance, lack of compassion, etc.
        Thanks.

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        1. I’ve never been to Brighton Beach, so you can imagine what I’d say if I went there. 😆

          Hey, I’m in Illinois, too. I hope you are not voting for Rauner in 2018!

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  40. Clarissa, I do not understand why you keep debating your ideas with the same people you described and criticized? You just described them in your initial article (IMO, a little too extreme but generally correct), so what do you expect of them, agreement with you? A person who uses the word “c…” in his or her writing is a true Russian (one of us, rude, pugnacious, and bitter), and your debating is also like us, Russians – have to win and say the last word.
    Why not just ignore the rude and obscene comments and move on?

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  41. And the most ironic is many of them live here by means of the very people they curse and bad-mouth, the democrats with their welfare rules and ideals, and they do not understand that bark and bite the hand that feeds them.
    That’s all for me; enough politics. I am gone and leave the stage for my Russian-speaking “brothers” who call themselves “intelligentsia”, because they graduated from college and read Bulgakov and Hugo and know who wrote the Beethoven’s “5-th Symphony”, but who will not think twice taking me out for a fist fight if we disagree on something in the restaurant or gym’s locker room.
    Good night, and let them be.

    Like

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