As Russia beats the drums of war, American leadership has once again been put to the test. And we’re failing.
Although 8,500 U.S. troops are now on alert to deploy at short notice, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers have already been deployed on Ukraine’s border. President Joe Biden’s State Department recently ordered the departure of embassy staff family members from Ukraine, acknowledging the very real threat of invasion — or, if you will, a “minor incursion.”
Ukraine may be the latest flashpoint in geopolitical posturing, but the issue at hand really isn’t about Ukraine. It’s about Poland in 1939. It’s about appeasing military powers that need not be appeased. It’s about Taiwan, whose people contend with Chinese aggression on a daily basis. It’s about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flying dozens of warplanes toward Taiwan in a blatant show of force.
It’s about every commitment that America has ever made to people facing oppression and fearing war. It’s about leadership: How do we, as a nation, respond to provocation?
We cannot be the world’s policeman, but we can’t sit idly by as tyrants and strongmen slowly conquer the world either. American passivity in the face of provocation has never yielded a positive outcome — not before World War I, not before World War II, not ever. Today’s China may not be Nazi Germany, but the CCP is persecuting ethnic minorities as we speak. Uyghur Muslims are toiling away in Chinese concentration camps today. Vladimir Putin may not be Adolf Hitler, but he is determined to expand Russia’s borders and challenge Western Europe for supremacy over the continent. Parallels can and should be drawn.
As Americans, we need to cut out the nonsense and focus on what’s important in the world. Let’s get our act together and quit the petty domestic politics. Enough with the “woke” ridiculousness.
On the eve of a Russian invasion, are we really worrying about the diversity and inclusion associated with M&Ms? With a China-Taiwan conflict threatening to devastate the entire region, are the priorities really to nationalize elections, take potshots at the unvaccinated and cancel Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast? The issue of the day is actually J.K. Rowling’s take on transgenderism or the necessity of gender pronouns at school? In the middle of a never-ending pandemic, no less?
2022 has started off rather ridiculously. Given the actual dangers of today’s world, the news cycle should not be shifting away from Biden and his failure of an administration — saddled with an approval rating in the high 30s. Biden’s mainstream media supporters should be holding him every bit as accountable as they claimed to do under President Trump. The issue that matters above all others is the president’s unprecedented combination of frailty and apparent incompetence in the face of America’s resurgent enemies.
While we cannot police the entire world or put American lives in danger needlessly, a real commander-in-chief would know to be forceful and resolute against China and Russia. A real president would understand the importance of deterrence, rather than dithering his way through shambolic press conferences.
Failure today will simply embolden expansionist mindsets abroad, causing more and more crises tomorrow. The longer America waits, the worse it will get. Alas, our “commander-in-chief” seems unable to even command his own words and emotions. Meanwhile, Biden’s Defense Secretary is kicking our warriors to the curb over religious exemptions to vaccines and their failure to toe the line on racist “CRT” ideology.
China and Russia are licking their chops, while America debates the total number of gender identities in the world. Brace for more crises ahead.
Dan Backer is a veteran campaign counsel, having served more than 100 candidates and PACs, including two of the largest pro-Trump super PACs. He serves as of-counsel at Chalmers & Adams LLC, a political law and litigation firm.