King Solomon hit the nail on the head when he taught that “there is nothing new under the sun.” One can see the reality of this maxim in discussions on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, especially as it pertains to the level of America’s involvement. Indeed, some on the left are employing rhetoric against Republicans who oppose Biden’s efforts for Ukraine that sounds eerily familiar to those who have paid attention to politics over the past two decades.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently took umbrage with Senate Republicans who voted against a spending bill that included provisions to provide aid to Ukraine. He posted a dishonest tweet listing the GOP lawmakers who voted against the measure, intimating they were specifically opposing aid for the invaded country. Many of the responses accused these senators of “sedition” and alleged they were siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Adding fuel to the largely Democrat fire, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) jumped into the fray to attack former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has recently discussed biological labs funded by the US in Ukraine. In pure Romneyesque fashion, he accused her of treason. “Tulsi Gabbard is parroting false Russian propaganda. Her treasonous lies may well cost lives,” he tweeted.
Even the rocket scientists on The View joined in on the action. One of the hosts suggested a criminal investigation of Gabbard for her comments and others who oppose US military action in Ukraine. Host Ana Navarro said, “I think the DOJ, in the same way, that it is setting up a task force to investigate Russian oligarchs, should look into people who are Russian propagandists and shilling for Putin.”
Not to be outdone, co-host Whoopi Goldberg went even further:
“They used to arrest people for doing stuff like this. If they thought you were colluding with a Russian agent or putting out information or taking information and handing it over to Russia, they used to investigate stuff like this. And I guess now, you know, there seems to be no bars. And people are not being told to hate Putin. Putin doesn’t need a reason to be hated. It’s pretty much clear.”
The left appears to have adopted this line of attack to score cheap political points against the right. But it is not the first time political discourse has taken this turn in America. Indeed, it appears Democrats are channeling their inner Neocons, who engaged in the same conduct under President George W. Bush. When people expressed concerns over the War on Terror, they were told they were either “with us or with the terrorists.” There was no room for nuance. These folks did not seem interested in having a good-faith conversation on the matter. Neocons essentially labeled their opposition as traitors to shut down the conversation.
It is worth noting that this behavior is also occurring amongst people who oppose military action in Ukraine. It seems that anytime a news report critical of Putin or his invasion emerges, it is portrayed as an effort to push the US into war. While this type of demagoguery is not new in America, it seems even more intense as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalates.
This is likely because the country has been sharply divided over the past five years; people do not appear interested in listening to opposing views. On TV, radio, and social media, folks are talking past one another, ascribing the foulest of motivations to those with whom they disagree. Even the fact that Americans are essentially united in their opposition to sending troops to the region is not enough to tamp down tensions. The question is: How much longer can American society survive under these conditions?
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.