Interview with the Russian Rush Limbaugh

Ilya Galak is a free-lance writing living in Staten Island.


“We are not better than native-born Americans, and of course not smarter. We’ve just been to the last stop of this bus.” – Sergei Dovlatov

Victor Topaller, the Moscow-born director, journalist, TV and radio personality, has earned the moniker “The Russian Limbaugh” due to his conservative views and hard-hitting programming. A relatively new citizen of the U.S., Topaller previously spent many years in Israel, where he became a “voice” for the country’s large Russian-speaking community. Topaller recently took time out for an interview with FrontPage to discuss his Soviet background and his ultimate turn to conservatism.

Ilya Galak: Victor, why do you think Russian-speaking Americans call you, “The Russian Limbaugh”?

Victor Topaller: Well, probably because we both adhere to very conservative views.

In a classic Soviet satire by Ilf and Petrov, a group of characters investigates who among them share similar political views. One character was so far right that he didn’t even know what political party he could possibly belong to – I think that’s me. But seriously, I have great respect for Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity and Levin. Yet, there can’t be an accurate comparison – they were born here, in America, while I’m a migrant. We differ in origins, mentality and language. Oh! And I almost forgot – also in the sizes of our paychecks.

IG: Victor, we both went through the Soviet education system and memorized Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Lenin’s works by heart. If we didn’t we would not have gotten our diplomas. I personally think that the ideological heads of the Democratic Party and liberal labor unions simply copied their programs and slogans from there. What’s your opinion on this?

VT: There are no opinions here, only facts, and the facts are that Lenin’s “Global Socialist Revolution” is becoming a reality. Speaking of which, the “Leader of the Proletariat” was far from naive; he predicted that the global revolution will be carried out mainly by what he referred to as the “useful idiots from the West” – all that far-left-liberal riffraff… which is exactly what’s happened. And as for unions, I’d rather not comment. After all, who wants to mess with them? Note that Lenin called labor unions “The Schools of Communism” – what else can one say?

IG: Your previous article “The House is Lost” went viral with Russian speakers in America, Israel, and even in Russia itself.  I personally received it over 40 times from my friends all over the world. Please, explain to our American friends what is the meaning of the title “The House is Lost”?

VT: The title quotes the protagonist of Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog,” Philip Philippovich Preobrazhensky. This professor of medicine, who despises Socialism and the Soviet regime with every fiber of his being, speaks of his beloved apartment building, which the Communists wrecked beyond recognition, leaving one no choice but to flee. It’s clear that it’s not so much about the house, but rather the country as a whole:

“What, again?” exclaimed Philip Philipovich mournfully. “Well, this is the end of this house. I’ll have to go away -but where to? I can see exactly what’ll happen. First of all there’ll be community singing in the evening, then the pipes will freeze in the lavatories, then the central heating boiler will blow up and so on. The House is Lost.”

“Philip Philipovich worries himself to death,” said Zina with a smile as she cleared away a pile of plates.

“How can I help it?” exploded Philip Philipovich. “Don’t you know what this house used to be like?”

This quote is the source of the title of my article on Obama’s reelection. You know, I had once the audacity to notice that if at least a fraction of the not-yet-terminally-insane U.S. politicians were familiar with Russian literature beyond Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekov: with the likes of Bulgakov, Platonov, Zoshchenko or Nagibin; this country wouldn’t be in such a shameful condition.

Incidentally, I think we can claim to understand American literature better than Americans understand Russian literature – we grew up reading Jack London, O.Henry, Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, Mayne Reid, while authors like Salinger, Vonnegut, Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Dreiser, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Capote, Bradbury (one can keep on going) were revered as favorites. And of playwrights, it’s enough to mention Albee, Williams, Miller…

IG: What do you think about political correctness in America?

VT: Any noble undertaking, taken to absurd extremes, becomes a terrible evil. This is exactly what happened in America. Do you already call your “Christmas Tree” a “Holiday Tree”? Congratulations! I heard that soon the word “Woman” will be banned for sexual discrimination, and replaced by “Vaginamerican.” God – how many idiots are there in this world?

To me, political correctness is a serious evil. Taken to its absurd extreme, it becomes an ethical injury to this country, as it teaches apathy, falsehood and vileness. My friend, the famous writer, Mikhail Veller got it right when he said:

We all know that this is a cat, but we can’t call it a “cat” because it may get offended, so we call it “a tailed quadrupedal.” We all know that the cat likes gobbling raw fish, but saying that would also be offensive, so we say that it “enjoys fresh sea food.” In the meantime, the cat shits scot-free wherever it likes, leaving the lobby smelling so awful that none would enter the building.

I think that’s a very accurate analogy of political correctness and the crap-hole it dug us into. Political correctness is the duplicity and insincerity between what one says, and what one truly means, which was very common in the Soviet Union, but is far more dangerous here in America, given that it’s a free, democratic society.

IG:  Israel, what can be done?

VT: Nothing has to be done. The right question is what should no longer be done. We have to stop deceiving, playing dumb, and pretending that the issue at hand is merely two sides in conflict, rather than the heroic struggle of the only civilized nation in a region otherwise inhabited by brazen bandits. Murderers and criminals should be called murderers and criminals.  We need to realize that negotiating with terrorists is a dead end, a catastrophe; that back in the day pirates went extinct only when they were declared outlaws and cracked down upon by military forces. We must realize that Israel is our only ally in the region; and that what’s good for Israel is good for America, and vice versa. By the way, Hamas is on the FBI’s and Department of State’s list of terrorist organizations.

If I’m not mistaken, the famous Soviet nuclear physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov once said that ultimately, honesty in politics brings success, while lies and hypocrisy that seem so “profitable and visionary” result in a total collapse.

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  • Comrade Jim

    Thanks for bringing Victor Topaller to our attention. Because of their experience with socialism, Russian writers and thinkers have so much to teach Americans about the danger of big government and the corrosive nature collectivist policies. Russians seem to have a way of going right to the heart of the matter, avoiding the soft persuasive arguments. Living under socialism apparently hones a sharp edge to their thinking.

  • Jim Dandy

    Maybe the internet will let the truth squeeze its way out a little more often.

  • Michael Canzano

    Bravo , finally the truth ! We are destined for "Total Collapse". We can thank all the "Useful Idiots" for the demise of the once greatest Nation on the Planet. America will be turned into Detroit which was once one of the richest cities in America and now is comparable to Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped.
    My question is where do sane people go after America becomes third world Nation ?

    • RiverFred

      As soon as Texas is successful in succeeding from the US, I suggest we all go there.

      • geoffreybritain

        Sorry. Enjoy Texas while you can.

        70+% of Hispanics vote democrat.

        70+% of babies under one yr of age, in Texas… are Hispanic.

        77% of Hispanics favor raising taxes on the wealthy.

  • Alex Kovnat

    I never heard the term "Vaginamerican" until I saw it above. So I suppose that makes me a Penisamerican? :)

    In any event, best wishes to Victor Topaller and may his writings be made readily available on our world wide internet system.

  • Connister

    My admiration for Russians who haveseen the light and turned Conservative is never ending.

  • Felice

    Dear Mr. Dovlatove: Please somehow get on Fox News and talk radio. We need you.,

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/Platform.htm Alexander Gofen

    Dear Mr. Topaller,

    I am among those who admired your article "The House is Lost", and indeed I admire the genius of Michael Bulgakov, who described the character of the moocher of the future so marvelously well.

    However do not be proud of the title "Russian Limbaugh", nor do offer much respect to him, to Savage, Hannity and Levin. These "pundits" are not really in opposition to the mass media and the ruling elite as they claim. During all these 4 years they were cooperating with this elite obfuscating the ugly truth and silencing those who tried to expose it. Even the name of Obama/Soetoro/Soberkach is not certain, but his docs are certainly forged, and he certainly is not a US natural born according to his own bio. Yet your favorite pundits have just maintain a taboo on it, just as the fictional "opposition".

    That is why they lost the "impossible to lose" election. Your "heroes" are accomplices of treason.

    I am with you when you say that you are so far right (in this left-demented society) that you do not even know what political party you could possibly belong. Yes, here is no sane conservative party, nor even an honest opposition party. Be the first to join mine. Here is the Platform: http://www.resonoelusono.com/Platform.htm

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/Platform.htm Alexander Gofen

    Here is an additional suggestion induced by the article of another nice Russian author Alex Tarn: http://berkovich-zametki.com/2012/Zametki/Nomer11

    There is no need to adopt the terminology of our enemies which name themselves the "Lefts" and classify us as "Rights". Indeed it is frustrating to discover that we are so "far right" in this left-bend society, that there is no party for us to belong.

    As Mr. Tarn points out, what seems an extreme right now, is merely the normalcy generally acknowledged and accepted just some 100 years ago. It is merely the right of property and ownership of the fruits of one's labor, as follows from the depth of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Do not call it "capitalism" making a service to our enemies. We are merely the normal people, while they are a scum of the earth. There cannot be arguing with them nor any compromise.

  • Ghostwriter

    I don't have any problem with this guy in my country. It looks like we need more like Mr. Topaller.

  • Shannon Ledford

    I love Mr. Topaller's description of political correctness. I have several friends from eastern Europe, Russia etc… They, like Mr. Topaller are very plain spoken about the direction our nation is headed. Like the quote above stated. They have already been to the last stop on the communist bus. Only a former drug addict can describe with passion and urgency, the dangers of the effects of drugs on one's self. Only former members of a communist society can fully comprehend the damage that is on it's way once this country has been fully transformed. Those sappy, foolish,dreamy, utopian ideologues on the left do not realize that the hammer is going crush them like everyone else. I believe our nation is beyond the point of no return. History is against us. I look at my country and I see a debt ridden, morally weak nation that is ripe for the picking from some enemy. As one of the commies from old said. I believe it was Breshnev, he said they would take us over without firing a shot.

  • citizensusa

    "We cannot expect Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism."
    -Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev, 1959

    • Aleks

      Khrushev i remember himself wound up a total loser. and by the way, if you give someone small doses of something, eventually big ones will be of no threat. so why would you quote a historical loser's utterly misguided proclamation, is a mystery to me

  • Aleks Yakubssohn

    Topaller is a professional hater and basher of convenient targets wherever he goes, whether it's 'lefties' in US, or ultra-orthodox as well as same 'lefties' and Arabs in Israel. he's world apart from Rush; you folks should know that even many people of right-wing persuasion among Russian communities in both Israel and US, detest him for being utterly unintellectual(even anti-intellectual), and boorish. He's not to mention great Russian writers, because he has no idea of what they meant. and US is not 'his' country, he came here to make an easy buck by propelling primitive hatred. it's his type of brainless pseudo-conservatism, with bulldog faces and chicken brains, that has cost GOP this election; i hope people like him are the ones in line to evaporate from political and literary sphere

    • Ivanovich

      Mr. Yakubssohn, why don't you go seek some website where Pelosi, Reid, Clinton, Biden express their views and entertain them with your loyal sentiments.

      I am actually not as much impressed with the content of this interview, as I am impressed with other comments here. I'm glad to see that there are still some sane people in this country.

      • Aleks

        because i was directed here and i am entitled to express my opinion, and because i am loyal to nobody but myself, the country and ideals i share

    • Podrechnev

      …. unlike Aleks Yakubssohn, who clearly cherishes the company of everyone Topaller "hates" – communists, the ultra orthodox and radical Muslims. One can only hope that Aleks will evaporate from the stratosphere alongside all these other "convenient targets".

      • Aleks

        let me return your 'hope' to you, and actually mention that i wrote a couple years ago an essay suggesting creation of a 'zoo of totalitarianism' where bearers of all radical ideologies, whether far left, far right, ultra religious or infra secular, would be placed together. you don't know squat about me nor whom i associate with and whose company i prefer, though had you done your little homework, you'd easily establish that i am a)a neoconservative, and b)a fairly well-known columnist for American Russian language newspaper 'Yevreysky Mir' and the website of Echo of Moscow. thus my loyalties and decency cannot be questioned, unlike yours and those of Mr Topaller

    • Podrechnev

      …and everyone interested in finally learning what Bulgakov, Platonov, Zoshchenko or Nagibin "meant" e-mail Yakubssohn… he knows what's what!

  • Stan

    Yakubson, you receive money from Moscow every two weeks or twice per month?

    • Aleks

      i don't, but your question betrays the sort of paranoid you sadly are

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    In any event, best wishes to Victor Topaller and may his writings be made readily available on our world wide internet system.

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