Putin? Rational? I wouldn't call his religious anti-gay BS rational.
Sure, he archieved some great things, but that doesn't make him any more likeable to me.
One more question and then please let us never talk about him again....
Is there any modern dictator that you don't like?
How and why wouldn't you? His country has a demographic of X who are anti gay and extremely religious. If I was in his shoes. I would have made the same statements about gays etc. I'm very pro-gay marriage by the way. In politics, none of it matters. If the population I am representing is X, then I will be X if all the analysis points to me supporting X being beneficial to the country and my office. If the country likes X but analysis shows that my government and inter country relations would better be off with supporting Y as a cost-to-benefit ratio, then I will support Y. This is how the world spins.
He isn't likeable to most people. But I admire him is how I should put it rather than liking.
I admire the aspirations, authority, and political actions of most leaders in modern history no matter what their policies are. I'm speaking about this from a 3rd party point of view. In where its all just fascinating really. It's just history. I've learned to acustom myself to see modern and semi-past events as something out of a history book as a way to attempt to eliminate bias. It's worked. There are admirable traits, policies, and directions of almost any leader in history no matter who. It's really all the same to me.
Think about history and events as I think about them and you will come to see what I mean. Every now and then, I will use 'in body' type of thinking in the sense that rather than thinking about it as an outsider, I'm thinking about it as a current event that associates me. As you may see, this draws huge bias.