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OPINION

How to Make Republicans and Others Ditch Ukraine

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Some of the best friends of Vladimir Putin and Russia are some of the very same people who think that they are the best buddies of Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine. Oh, they will deny it. They like to think of themselves as smart, courageous defenders of democracy – and they are none of those things. Instead of rallying America behind the plucky Ukrainian people, the UKR emoji set is well down the road to alienating a significant number of Americans from assisting Ukraine, including much of the Republican Party. Eventually, it will be a majority, and then it will solidify into a consensus and be reflected in the ballot box. And then Ukraine will be well and truly screwed – it sure as hell can’t rely on the euro eunuchs. 

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Why will this happen? Because the DC establishment has decided that Ukraine policy is beyond debate, and not subject to input or question by the plebes. They make no argument for why we should support Ukraine – and there are potentially good arguments to be made, once we figure out exactly what America’s objective is. What they do is slander, anyone, not cozy and cuddly with the Official Approved Narrative™ – get on board or get trashed. The total, obnoxious refusal of our garbage ruling caste to even address the legitimate concerns of the American public regarding our blank-check, audit-free funding of the Russo-Ukrainian War is the best way to ensure that America will eventually stop supporting the underdogs. 

“Harrumph!” sniff the smart people in the Beltway, “Have you seen the polls? A majority of American voters support helping Ukraine!” They do, ten months in. Where do you think they will be a year and another unexplained, undebated $100 billion from now? Americans change their mind when Washington lies to them. Remember Vietnam? That Democrat war ended when the American people decided to stop it. So did Afghanistan, though President Badfinger mistook disgust at 20 years of deceit and incompetence for cowardice and ran away, leaving over a dozen Americans in metal boxes. The point is that this cannot go on forever. If you want to keep supporting Ukraine, you better convince the American people that it is in America’s interest instead of telling them to shut up and reach for their wallets.

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First, let’s be clear – regardless of what the increasingly ineffectual Mitch McConnell says, Ukraine is not the Number One priority of the Republican Party, and if it is the Number One priority of the Republican congressional delegation then that disconnect makes it crystal clear why the GOP managed to turn the red wave into the red Jeffrey Toobin Zoom call.

Inflation. Crime. Perversions and communist CRT crap. The southern border is open, our border, and all we get is concern about Ukraine’s border. Is “Why are we defending their border but not our own?” a strictly logical argument? Nope, but for a bunch of lawyers, those guys in Congress sure don’t know squat about how to make an argument to a jury. It is a powerful and effective argument. It does not have to be logical – what it is is a protest against prioritizing foreigners over Americans. And the smart set refuses to hear what Americans are saying:

“We are hurting. Prioritize us.”

“Nah, here’s another $10 billion, Volodymyr. Cool sweatshirt!”

Second, what’s our objective here? I got a sheepskin from the Army War College and they were pretty insistent, based on our lackluster recent history, that we should always have a clear and proper objective in our foreign policy initiatives (which include wars). So what is the short-term objective here? Stop the fighting? Push Russia out of Ukraine? Preserve “democracy” (though they fail to address concerns that Zelenskyy is an autocrat, something I do not necessarily believe but which fawning over him does not answer). Keep in mind that those are short-term objectives. What is the longer-term objective? Is it to neuter Russia so it cannot invade Europe or aid its new buddy China? Is it more ambitious – to topple Putin and install a friendly government? How could regime change go wrong? The desired end state we are seeking seems pretty important, and We The People would like a chance to sign off on it.

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There’s no pretense of identifying an objective from this crew – they do not explain what America wants to achieve, only a demand for more money and less dissent. But we deserve to know what we are doing as a nation, and to do that means a real debate where everyone is heard, including (and especially) dissenters. What is our national interest? How does this plan support them? Is Ukraine worthy of our support? How much support? What are the risks? Are the risks worth it?

And there are risks. Putin has the most nukes of any country on earth, and I gotta tell you – I place more importance on not being incinerated by a Russian H-bomb detonating over Los Angeles than I do the territorial integrity of some country at the butt-end of Europe.

Sorry, Ukraine and Ukrainians, but America and Americans are more important to me than you. No offense. I expect you to feel the same way about us, and I have no heartburn with the idea that Zelenskyy is exploiting credulous Americans to wring every buck, bomb, and bullet he can from us to protect his people. Sure, Ukraine (as I know from personal experience over there) is so corrupt it scandalizes internet Nigerian princes, and some Ukrainians are themselves creeps. But I support the people. I served with them – the Ukrainian people are tough and brave and I respect their courage in resisting an unjustified and cruel invasion. Still, I’m not convinced that it is worth a single American life and I am not convinced that Ukraine should be getting a blank check when the cries for help from our citizens are met with blank stares.

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America is at a decision point. Will our ruling class risk the masses hearing dissent and opposing views by allowing a free debate on Ukraine instead of the current program of demonization and undebated cash drops in last-minute omnibus bills? Putin has got to be hoping not. See, if the ruling caste keeps trying to fight Putin this way, sooner or later it will hand the aspiring czar a victory by alienating the American people to such a degree that sooner or later the pendulum swings and America declares “Who the hell cares?” and goes home. Then Ukraine is screwed. If you know anything about Russians, they can and will hold out until they can turn it around on an enemy. Ask Napoleon. His invasion went poorly. Ask Hitler. Oh right, after nearly reaching Moscow and murdering 20 million Russians over half a decade, he blew his miserable brains out when the Russians were on his Berlin doorstep seeking payback.

Or we can do what Americans are supposed to do in a Republic with democratic principles and have a vigorous debate. Our purported leaders can convince the American people that support for Ukraine is in America’s national interest instead of demanding silent obedience. Debate it, unite the country, or at least get the buy-in from the dissenters who will have been heard and who then lost in a free and fair vote of their representatives. Putin would hate that – Americans united and committed to supporting Ukraine, assuming that’s what the American people want after they hear all sides without the calumny and defamation of the Ukrainian flag wavers.

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And finally, if any one of you insufferable sissies who never shivered in a West German battle position waiting for the Russkies to pour toward the Atlantic during the Cold War, or who never went to Ukraine several times to train their troops, gets in my face in real life and calls me a Putin-lover for not slurping up your narrative raw, I’ll slug you in your stupid mug.

Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce! Catch up with all my action-packed novels, including People's RepublicIndian CountryWildfireCollapseCrisis, and The Split, as well as the non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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