BY ASKOLD S. LOZYNSKYJ
March 16, 2023
Ukrainian American Republicans need to step up
Governor DeSantis’ recent statement that the Russian aggression n Ukraine consisting of so many war crimes is a territorial dispute displays ignorance and a lack of humanity, but is not necessarily a surprise. DeSantis is a state governor and thus allowed to be primitive on matters of foreign policy especially when this suits many of his supporters. Frankly, I have been to Florida and pose the question: have you met many of Florida’s residents? Even more importantly: have you met the Republican base?
DeSantis has not announced that he is ostensibly running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States against certainly the most primitive former president in the history of the United States. But he is campaigning and appealing to that same MAGA base, consisting of Proud Boys and Oath keepers. On the Ukrainian issue that base includes Putin’s acolytes, Tucker Carlson, Tulsi Gabbard and the like.
In 2014 Congressman DeSantis was critical of Democratic President Barrack Obama for failure to act against Russia’s aggression in Crimea and Ukraine’s Donbas area. Assuming mental stability the most cogent explanation today is political expediency and, naturally, political amnesia and a lack of integrity. After all he was critical of a Democratic Presid ent. Today he is playing up to a Trumpshevik base which makes up almost 50% of the Republican party.
DeSantis is not the problem. He is merely symptomatic of his political milieu. He is an unprincipled politician within a party that is reliant upon the support of an electorate that is largely devoid of principles or morality. Frankly he is vying for the leadership of a party where the current de facto leader even today is a man who may be indicted well before the election and promises to run irrespective and who is currently being accused of malfeasance by a person that specialises in pornography. Yet this primitive aged hooligan leads in the Republican poll for President of a country that is the leader of the civilised and democratic world. What a country!
If Ukrainian Americans on the Republican side have any dignity left they will take on DeSantis. He will play up to them for the sake of their support. Changing policy positions for DeSantis is clearly inveterate to his makeup. Integrity or principles, particularly in foreign policy are irrelevant. This may be an ugly side but a prevailing one amongst politicians.
With this in mind it is time to act. A Ukrainian American Republican delegation from the state of Florida where there are several Ukrainian American communities should arrange immediately for a meeting with the Governor. It need not be an extensive meeting, single issue. The Ukrainians simply need to be firm. DeSantis has no strong feelings on this issue. Once he changes his position to appease his Ukrainian American electorate he will stay with it at least until the next time it becomes expedient to change. And then perhaps another meeting will be necessary very much depending on how far DeSantis goes in his political career.
President DeSantis will never be President Biden on Ukrainian issues. President Biden has a deep moral commitment on Ukraine. For the sake of transparency I am a Democrat and enamoured of President Biden. Ron DeSantis is a viable presidential contender. He is not President Trump because he is significantly more astute, highly educated and, I believe, somewhat principled and morally composed. All options for 2024 have to remain viable for Ukraine. In the end the best scenario would be to have Ron DeSantis go back to Tallahassee, Joe Biden go back to Washington
and Donald Trump to go to jail. But in the interim Ron DeSantis has to be addressed in a productive fashion rather than left to his own devices. Ukrainian American Republicans need to step up.