One prominent U.S. politician is firing back after Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote that American “exceptionalism” is dangerous for the international community in an op-ed in the New York Times last week. Senate Republican John McCain submitted an op-ed of his own to Russian newspaper Pravda.
In the piece, McCain tells the Russian people that Putin "rules for himself, not you."
“President Putin and his associates ... don't respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media," McCain wrote.
The piece was posted on the paper's website, around 10 am on Thursday, Moscow time, Fox News reported.
“(Putin) is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world," McCain wrote.
McCain wrote that Russian citizens deserve the “inalienable rights” that are enjoyed by Americans under the Constitution. “President Putin doesn’t believe in these values because he doesn’t believe in you,” McCain wrote. “He doesn’t believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn’t believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence."
He added: “When I criticize your government, it is not because I am anti-Russian. It is because I believe you deserve a government that believes in you and answers to you. And, I long for the day when you have it.”