According to Alexei Makarkin, the task that the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia solves is “to stay in the elite”
“I hate them. They are bastards and degenerates…” Dmitry's speeches Medvedev in social networks are becoming more and more irreconcilable towards the West and the “fifth column” within the country. And more and more, shall we say, emotionally colored. The note liberal and “dove” before our eyes turned into a terry “hawk”. And the last, quoted post amazed, perhaps, even the “hawkish” camp. Aleksey Makarkin, First Vice President of the Center for Political Technologies, reflects on the reasons for the metamorphosis in an interview with MK.
– I'm not sure that now it is worth focusing on the issue of succession. Now more immediate problems are being solved. Including – if we talk about Medvedev's tasks. Moreover, as far as succession is concerned, his latest publication is counterproductive from this point of view. The duties of the president are connected, among other things, with the fact that he has to communicate with Western leaders.
How long has the current Russian president spoken to Macron? According to Macron, about 100 hours. And this communication will continue. Imagine: Medvedev becomes president, and he will have to communicate with those whom he called so. But how do you communicate after that? How to build relationships? No, I don't think it's a matter of succession.
– I think that everything is easier. It is about the role and place in the team. And in general about belonging to the team. Medvedev has a reputation as a Westerner, which has developed during his presidency. And he actually did quite a lot for this. One can recall his personal relationship with Obama, and the reset, and statements about freedom… And when he left the presidency, he also did not immediately turn into a conservative. There was, for example, if you remember, such a project as “Open Government”.
But what was once a competitive advantage looks completely different now. In the conditions of a special military operation, in the conditions of a break with the West, such a past, such a background, is a rather serious problem. Medvedev invested too much in his time in modernization, in Westernization. And now his task is not succession. The task is to stay in the elite. I would even say – in the superelite: he is still the deputy chairman of the Security Council.
The rest of the presidential team doesn't have to prove anything, they don't have to renounce anything. They have been criticizing the West for a long time, they have long spoken out for their own way of development. Medvedev, in order to be a natural part of the team, must in some sense make up for lost time. Which is what he is doing now. Shows that he is the same as everything, that what was connected with Obama, with the reset, is a distant past. That he burned all the bridges.
– Just in case, I think. But if Medvedev had behaved the way he used to, as it corresponded to his image, the danger would probably really exist. We often have a frivolous attitude towards Medvedev. Which is even more intensified after his last statement. But he was still president for four years and prime minister for almost eight. This person, no matter how you treat him, has a huge hardware experience. He understands the rules of the game. And he understands that now everyone needs to be consolidated, everyone should be one team, everyone should be critics of the West.
– I would say this: the vector that he has now defined is a vector for emphasized patriotism, from the point of view of command logic is quite correct. But there is a vector, and there are methods. Medvedev is clearly overdoing it. When the image changes so abruptly, it always causes dissonance.
Those people who once sympathized with him, he finally pushed away. As for the representatives of the other camp, those who were suspicious of him, they, of course, do not take all this seriously. The image changes too abruptly, too defiantly.
But on the other hand, this is a demonstration of fidelity, a demonstration of loyalty. If the task is to remain in the super-elite, to remain a member of the team, then I think it has been solved. He will remain with them.
– Well, we still do not have a monarchy. A president cannot simply point a finger at a person and say: tomorrow he will be president. According to all polls, people want the head of state, as before, to be elected by the people. It has taken root over 30 years. That is, the issue is not only of a hardware nature, but also of a public-political nature. Any successor must go to the polls.
It is clear that if the elections were held today, then people would vote for the government – no matter who represents it. Now, as always happens in Russia in emergency situations, there is a consolidation around the flag, pro-government mobilization. But the emergency cannot last forever. In time, she will leave. Speaking of the future, I can hardly imagine Medvedev as a presidential candidate.
Everyone will start remembering. For some, he is the prime minister, who is associated with raising the retirement age. For others, he will forever be the president who met with Obama and announced the reset. The Russian anti-Western does not forget anything. For those people who treat the West the way Medvedev does now, he will always be a suspicious figure. Still others will remember these, his last statements: how will he represent Russia in relations with the West after them? surnames, in my opinion, this is the most impassable option. There will be a variety of claims from a variety of sides. Everyone will present something different to Medvedev.
– People were unhappy with Khrushchev for many reasons. First of all, of course, on social and economic. But his rhetoric did not really add to his popularity. There is a widespread point of view that a politician should be close to the masses, speak their language. The same Khrushchev emphasized in every possible way that he worked as a mechanic. But this caused an ambivalent reaction in people. And then, over time, rather negative. Like, since you are a locksmith, why did you get into the bosses? Go work as a locksmith!
– Yes, Khrushchev's emphasized demonstration of his lack of education, of the common people was immeasurably more in line with Khrushchev's image than the way Medvedev is behaving now, Medvedev's image. Medvedev is a man from an educated, intellectual milieu. And when he tries to appeal to other audiences, it looks, shall we say, not quite natural.
But I repeat: even Khrushchev's image was imperfect. People did not want to see the leader of the person who behaved with them in a familiar way. Not only some cultural figures, artists from the Manezh, offended by his statements, but also the same locksmiths. Therefore, when Brezhnev came, more solid, respectable, balanced, he was received very well in this contrast. For quite a long time, until the mid-1970s, Brezhnev was very popular.
Communication style is a very important thing for a politician. Let me give you a historical example from more than a century ago. Sergei Yulievich Witte was one of the smartest officials in the Russian Empire. He was, perhaps, the first official who tried to introduce elements of public policy into the Russian monarchy.
In 1905, as chairman of the Council of Ministers, Witte wrote an appeal to the workers – so that they would not rebel, but constructively cooperate with the authorities. Prior to that, he visited America, where he negotiated peace with Japan. There he shook hands with the driver, gave interviews… In general, he charmed the Americans.
After that, Witte decided to charm the Russian workers. But “cut off” on the first phrase. He began: “Brothers workers…” The St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers' Deputies, in which the young Leon Trotsky played a key role, declared in its official reply: “The proletarians are in no way related to Count Witte.” Regardless of how you feel about Trotsky, the answer, admittedly, was brilliant.
That is, intonation is very important in politics. No need to flirt with the electorate or the target audience. You need to have your own style and know the measure. And look like a solid person who can solve really serious problems.