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Saving Democracy for LGBTQ America

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It should be clear to any rational person that the war in Ukraine is also our war. It’s simple; Ukraine’s war against Putin’s aggression is a war that the United States must support. If Ukraine loses and Putin is allowed to take control of the country, the United States and Europe will regret not having done more to support Ukraine. Putin would be encouraged to move to another country, perhaps Poland. After all, if he sees the United States and other countries reducing their support for Ukraine, Putin will see his dream of rebuilding the Soviet Union as something possible.

If Russia attacks a NATO country, the United States must do more than provide weapons and humanitarian aid. We will send our men and women in uniform to fight. Section 5 of the NATO Alliance commits us to defend any partner under attack. So Americans must stop listening to irrational thoughts suggesting that the war in Ukraine is not our war. It’s true, and we must do our part to ensure Ukraine’s victory.

What many, including some fools in Congress, forget about the funding they are being asked to approve for Ukraine is that much of it is spent here at home, in their own districts. The money goes to American companies that work hard to resupply our military with the weapons and ammunition we send to Ukraine. We are creating jobs and wealth for our own people, while the Ukrainian military, these heroes, are risking their lives on the battlefield. Why wouldn’t a congressman from Alabama or Iowa vote for money for Ukraine? It’s their constituents who have jobs building the missiles and munitions we send to fight this war. Factories in many states are working overtime to restock, and Americans are earning money to support their families and help their local economies.

I am from the Vietnam War generation. I demonstrated against the war but was ready to fight if I was drafted. When my draft number was called, I went to my selection committee ready to go through basic training, but was sent home ranked 1Y for medical reasons. I want all young men and women of this age to fight, and for their parents to ask themselves if they would rather have the heroes of Ukraine on the battlefield, or if they want to take their chances if we don’t support them not and Putin wins, our children could all be called upon to serve on the front lines themselves.

It is clear that as the richest nation in the world, the United States can afford to support Ukraine in this war. If MAGA Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), among others, pulled their heads out of their asses, they would understand that there is is a problem. This is about defending our national security, and members of Congress have no greater responsibility to their constituents than that. They claim we can’t afford it. Let’s be clear, MAGA Republicans are not the only ones who want to reduce our national debt, which now stands at $33 trillion. MAGA Republicans, who now make up almost the entire Republican Party, want to cut programs for children, seniors, education and health care. At the same time, they cut taxes on the rich under Trump, which by the end of the year will have cost the Treasury $2 trillion. By comparison, the $75 billion we have given to Ukraine since the start of the war is paltry.

Democrats also want to reduce the deficit, but do it differently. They want to raise taxes on the rich and corporations, and create new jobs that build the economy, thereby erasing the debt. Democrats don’t want to mess with our national security. They understand that we can and must continue to support Ukraine. It might be wise for Democrats to consider supporting a new House speaker if he or she is nominated and commits to introducing a Ukraine funding bill.

In the long run, this is just another issue that Republicans are wrong about. Democrats understand that we can reduce the deficit, fund Ukraine, and, at the same time, work to uphold our commitment to women and the LGBTQ community for full equality. We can end structural racism and finally become a nation that grants civil rights to all. It’s not a pipe dream. This can become our reality if we elect a Congress and a president who believe in these things and are willing to work hard to make them happen. Unfortunately, today only Democrats are willing to do all of this, and we must elect them.

Pierre Rosenstein is a longtime activist for LGBTQ rights and the Democratic Party. He writes regularly for The Blade.

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