We Must Defend Democracy in Ukraine—and Win It at Home Too
We have to prove that democracies can still solve major problems.
Hey Friend! Every couple of weeks, I publish a piece with the The New Republic. This week I wrote about fighting for democracy in Ukraine and what it means for democracy at home. You can find the full piece at the newrepublic.com.
Here’s an excerpt. I hope you enjoy.
Ukraine has emerged as a global fault line over democracy. In invading his democratic neighbor, authoritarian dictator Vladimir Putin threw down the gauntlet for his kind. The symbolism of an autocrat violating the territorial sanctity and right to self-determination of a smaller, weaker neighbor forced democratic countries, which had previously seemed content to focus inward, into a tightening alliance. The global order is shifting as we speak.
Make no mistake, this is decidedly a war between democracy and autocracy, between self-government and fascism. To view it otherwise is to ignore the context in which it’s occurring. Over the past decade the forces of autocracy have waged a social media disinformation war, meddling in elections to support the rise of would-be autocrats, such as Donald Trump in the United States, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Narendra Modi in India. Meanwhile, fledgling democracies have been aborted by military coups in struggling Asian and African countries.
United around the indelible will of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the world’s most powerful democracies have demonstrated their mettle. Short of direct flirtation with nuclear war, they’ve committed themselves to the effort, arming the Ukrainian military while opening their arms to the nearly two million refugees pouring across Ukraine’s western border. The goodwill and fellow feeling for Ukraine extends well beyond national leaders. Popular opinion across Europe and the United States has backed efforts to turn the screws on Putin, even in ways that would inflict some blowback at home. Nearly 80 percent of Americans, for example, support President Biden’s ban on Russian oil and gas imports, even despite record highs in gas prices already….