For several years now I have been a prisoner of a cult operating on the Internet as a Ukrainian American email thread, primarily for political discussion involving Ukraine. I did not join this forum voluntarily and I have pleaded on numerous occasions for freedom, albeit without success. Frankly, mostly I ignore the messaging but at moments of leisurely weakness I do read some posts, particularly when I recognize the messenger. Infrequently I even comment. Naturally I am the only member of the thread that chooses to communicate in Ukrainian rather than English. I do not know why that is.
The overwhelming majority of the participants, and certainly the most frequent and vocal, are Republican Ukrainian Americans, predominantly MAGA or as I refer to them “trumpsheviks”, yes like “bolsheviks”. The biggest problem is that many of them are quite sparse on facts, yet very arrogant. That is not a good combination.
On at least one occasion after the Trump-Putin circus in Helsinki, I suggested an exit ramp at the very least akin to the remorse of Skrypnyk and Khvylovyj without the fatality, but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Some I suspect never heard of the twp Ukrainian national communists who felt guilty after being exploited as “useful idiots.” Besides both were in essence idealists looking for something more important than personal gain. “Trumpsheviks” like their namesake are concerned mostly with their own well being. And then there are the vulgarities often levelled by one female discussant often times without credentials attempting to lead the discussion and lecture.
The Congressional elections of 2022 did not go well for anyone in particular. As a result the Democrats still control the Senate while the Republicans are in position to abuse the House. Since I am a Ukrainian American by ethnicity and mostly Ukrainian by conviction, I am a one issue voter – Ukraine. Naturally, that issue is best supported by Democrats today. It was not always like that. FDR was a Democrat. Reagan was a Republican. Times have changed. I am not about to label MAGA Ukrainian- Americans not patriotic vis a vis Ukraine. That would be much too simplistic. They are a varied bunch, some with an actual agenda.
The United States under President Biden and the Democrats have been very generous and accommodating to Ukraine. Besides money and weapons, they have rebuilt Europe and NATO as a force against the Russians, establishing American leadership once again. As a result Ukraine has prevailed in this most recent criminal onslaught by Russia.
MAGA Ukrainian Americans are not happy, however. They insist that aid to Ukraine in the future must be carefully scrutinized because allegedly with no evidence Democrats have been using funding for Ukraine to launder money for themselves. I could not possibly make this up.
Sensible participants even Republican in this abhorrent thread have dismissed this absurd allegation with persuasive arguments such as the fact that foreign money cannot be used in American elections and that channelling money through political action committees is certainly a more rational and facile option. The danger is that disinformation is a potent weapon of choice by the Russians and these fringe Ukrainians living in America can be very “useful idiots” for this purpose.
According the benefit of a doubt to some of these MAGA’s for alleged good intentions, since I am acquainted with many of them, frankly, speaking, I am unable to perceive much tangible assistance to or effort on behalf of Ukraine by most of them over the last quarter century. Most have been missing in action. Sure many have been vocal, but aside from advice and criticism, nothing substantial including money has been proffered. Furthermore these are not isolated criticisms on assistance to Ukraine in the current milieu. Extreme right wing acolytes such as the Heritage
Foundation which used to be much more mainstream and other think tanks have been recently more vocal in this regard, practically urging total curtailing of aid to Ukraine.
My message to the MAGA Ukrainian Americans is to cease and desist. Get a conscience albeit belatedly or get out of the way. In a war which may mean the survival of Ukraine as a state and your fellow Ukrainians as a people, your behavior dare not serve to help the enemy! Devise a plausible plan to help Ukraine in this war, if you can, rather than attack those who are genuinely on the side of Ukraine. If you do not wish to help, please remain dormant but silent.
November 15, 2022 Askold S. Lozynskyj