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A Broken Promise
Donald Trump and Republican decadence enabled an attack on a crystallizing democracy.
Photo courtesy of Tolga Sezgin
Wars waged within many dimensions can be catastrophic.
Wars happen in a physical sense. For example, armies and technology collide under the auspices of nation-states.
Wars happen in an economic sense by making it difficult for merchants to buy and sell goods or materials. Thus, the burden shifts to the consumer with price hikes.
War can also happen on our minds. For example, the dissemination of fake information.
It is clear that Vladimir Putin is waging a hostile disinformation campaign. This campaign aims to influence the radicalization of less-developed and demographically homogenous spaces within the United States. It seeks to pervert our presidential elections. It is in the midst of exposing the excesses of our national media diet.
Donald Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, helped elect Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine. Yanukovych's ouster during Ukraine’s “Maidan Revolution” of 2014 was for thwarting attempts to integrate Ukraine into the European Union's processes. Also, for being a blatant Putin stan. These connections raised red flags as the former president campaigned around the nation. For example, a secret ledger from Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party found $12.7 million in undisclosed cash assigned to Manafort. The press printed these connections in broad daylight.
The corrupt 45th president pardoned Paul Manafort. Thus, raising even more questions about the small amount of time Manafort did compared to the crime. He was also potentially withholding information and found to be a financial fraud. Despite this, an even greater insult was when Donald Trump turned against America’s promises to an interconnected democratic world. He betrayed the Ukrainian people (for they were living in an era of democracy).
In what he described as a “perfect phone call”, Donald Trump extorted Volodymyr Zelensky. He hoped to frighten the Ukrainian president. Then President Zelensky would greenlight a dark political favor. The Biden family would be persecuted for alleged corruption with Burisma. Yes, Hunter Biden was on the board at one point. Yes, the “media” did scrutinize this appointment.
Some even found that Joe Biden pressing the prosecutor general (with the rest of the West) could have endangered his own son. The Democratic House of Representatives decided to impeach the president for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Trump was using his role as chieftain of the largest military in the world to gain “election assistance” from Ukraine. Thus, benefitting Trump (and Vladimir Putin). Trump would have continued to weaken N.A.T.O. and potentially have pulled out of the alliance altogether in a second term.
But, something deeper than the laws of our nation broke during this ordeal.
The Ukrainians are a proud people filled with beautiful history. They relied on Americans and their leadership to protect them.
Despotism forms during times of shifting technology, demographics, and borders. By allowing Donald Trump to treat the Oval Office like a mob racket (and not as the pulpit for the free world), the Republican Party enabled a spiritual betrayal of a budding democracy.
The rise and fall of Ukrainian democracy (if that happens) is a case study for how America promised one thing after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. but instead indulged in the spoils of Cold War victory. Often, in a self-aggrandizing and unsustainable manner. It serves to empower Vladimir Putin. It also empowers domestic authoritarians practicing aggressive nostalgia within our own national borders.
Photo courtesy of João Godinho