“We understand that there’s concern about the safety, security and sovereignty of Ukraine, but the American people have those same concerns about our own domestic sovereignty.”
Words spoken by House Speaker Mike Johnson in response to a reporter’s inquiry as to why he was holding up aid for Ukraine, certainly, a challenge to both his political legislative and Christian qualifications. I would submit that even a hundred thousand Central American asylum seekers mostly unarmed including women and children at America’s southern border do not measure up to one hundred fifty thousand Russian soldiers armed to the teeth with artillery backup at Ukraine’s eastern border as was the case on the eve of Russia’s vicious invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Lest I should appear to agree on anything with the notorious extremist Steve Bannon who also is not happy with Mike Johnson and recently offered a rant against the Speaker for negotiating with the White House. He proceeded to attack Johnson’s Christianity and suggested it be replaced with Islam thus forming for the Speaker a backbone made of titanium. I will refrain from further criticism of the Speaker despite his poor choice of metaphors and bizarre political reasoning.
President Zelensky appeared at the 2024 Davos Economic Annual to a most cordial reception including assurances that the European Union with its 27 members or with 26 members without Hungary will approve the 50 billion aid to Ukraine package on or about February 1, 2024. NATO members and new aspirant, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden have all stepped up recently to fill an obvious void caused by such political primitives as MAGA Republicans and Prime minister Orban of Hungary.
With European support, the lack of American leadership will become much less a problem for Ukraine even if America reverts to a time not so long ago when Donald Trump was president. American global leadership was lacking much to the amusement of Vladimir Putin and the President of the United Stated was ridiculed by most of America’s allies even Prime minister Justin Trudeau
So the ball is now in America’s court not only to help Ukraine win a war where the sides are clearly marked as representative of good and evil. The mantle of global leadership is moving away from America and this represents a more serious problem for Ukraine, the world and America.
To a simple but isolated, even educated but normally selfish mind the obligations and expenses of global leadership far exceed any perceived benefits. Prestige is a consideration but to an isolated mind, prestige is only that which is recognized locally. Much has been made of the fact that the MAGA Republicans cater to and resultingly are overwhelmingly supported by those who lack a college degree. This was displayed recently in Iowa. However much depends not so much as the level of education as the field of studies. However there are so many example of contradictions in this regard that a meaningful analysis is impossible.
Doctors, lawyers, political scientists even clerics and divinity students are varied.Consider such bizarre examples as former governor Huckabee and his daughter, the current governor, who as press secretary for President Trump lied at will. Why are Evangelicals opposed to aid for Ukraine when the war in Ukraine is manifestly a struggle of good versus evil? I suspect an unreasonable approach to abortion could be the issue. Where in the Bible or the teachings of Christ does it say that life begins at conception. Still most Americans are reasonable, not dogmatic, and rationally favor pro-choice.
American exceptionalism, America as the beacon of freedom and hope are simply intangibles. Being the land of opportunity is a welll deserved moniker but also the cause of America’s problems at the southern border. The biggest impediment to a global perspective is that many Americans have never left the continent.
Isolationism was a malaise that afflicted Americans only several generations ago. The Japanese woke us up and suddenly we realised that we had interests all over the world. Then we recognised that we were a superpower and were treated as such by the rest of the world. English became the universal language. If we travelled beyond our shores we experienced an uplifting treatment, even somewhat undeserved. That treatment was appreciated by some of us. Other Americans took this as an opportunity to become ugly. Nevertheless our interests beyond the continent compelled us to be involved. An then, of course, there was the moral component largely unknown to the MAGA contingent.
Ukraine continues to fight the good fight often relying on our weapons previously provided. The role of Javelins, Patriots and Abrams (soon F-16’s) among other weapons America has manufactured and supplied cannot be overstated. Still our investment not only in Ukraine but in global security and peace may be wasted unless we protect our investment. These are only some of the reasons why America should not relinquish its mantle of global leadership. And then there is the moral component.
January 20, 2024 Askold S. Lozynskyj