OPINION: Vote blue: Make the world safe for democracy

Republicans are about as interested in preserving American Democracy as King George III.

According to an investigation from the New York Times published in October, over 370 Republican candidates in the upcoming November election for local, state and federal office “have questioned and, at times, outright denied the results of the 2020 election despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

However, while MAGA radicals in the upcoming election certainly pose a great threat to our own democracy, in Ukraine, this election could very well be the difference between life and death for the democratic nation, as well as many of their citizens.

Day after day thousands of Ukrainians fight for their very survival against the brutal Russian invasion. 

While casualties are hard to count, the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights at the U.N. recorded “15,592 civilian casualties in the country: 6,221 killed and 9,371 injured” between Feb. 24 and Oct. 10.

According to a New York Times report, a recent missile attack was aimed at the “heart of Kyiv and other areas far from the front line” and represented “the broadest assault against civilians since the early days of Russia’s invasion.”

This is just one instance of the violence against civilians in Vladmir Putin’s war against Ukraine. 

In the early days of the war the U.N. Human Rights Council found evidence of several war crimes perpetrated against civilians, and there is additional evidence of intense sexual violence against women in Ukraine.

In the same report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called these acts evidence of a “deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities.”

In the face of so much death and destruction, the Ukrainian people have held steadfast in defense of their country. They defended the capital of their democratic nation from Russian tanks and bombs, launched massive counter operations and have shown the world they will not back down to Russian tyranny.

America and its allies have done their part as well. Back in May, Congress passed legislation resulting in $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. Additionally, on Oct. 14, the Department of Defense authorized an additional $725 million worth of military equipment be sent to Ukraine bringing the total of Direct Security Assistance given to Ukraine from the U.S. to $18.2 billion.

Thanks to the assurance of American support, Ukraine has lived to fight another day.

But after November, that support may be less assured.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Leader, and likely candidate for Speaker of the House should his party prevail in November recently said, “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it.”

His sentiments reflect a growing faction in the Republican party which no longer favors aid to Ukraine. 

Another Republican, Rep. Warren Davidson used the tragedy in Ukraine to push a conservative talking point about the U.S.-Mexico Border. 

“My constituents are saying, ‘Why are we more worried about Ukraine’s borders than we are about America’s borders?’ My constituents are not sitting there going, ‘Gosh, we have to save Ukraine’s borders,” said Davidson.

And let’s not forget that even as the first artillery shells rained down on Kyiv, Former-President Donald Trump was praising Putin’s actions. 

“How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force … We could use that on our southern border,” said Trump in an interview on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a conservative radio broadcast.

When Republicans aren’t outright praising a tyrannical dictator, they’re diminishing the pain and suffering of the millions of people fighting for their very survival in order to further their own ridiculous political causes.

As election day approaches, have the people of Ukraine in your thoughts as you make your way to the polls, and remember the possible consequences of electing those who see the people of Ukraine as nothing more than a talking point against government spending.

And if you’re unsure if you’re going to vote this cycle, remember the words of a Lyndon Johnson ad in 1964, “The stakes are too high for you to stay home.”

Follow Stephen on Twitter!

@smerrick_jr