Christine Flowers: Put a hold on politics and focus on Putin, the enemy – The Delaware County Daily Times

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I’m writing this as Putin is eating up Ukraine. By the time it’s published, he might have taken the whole country, and swallowed up the Baltics as well.  Did we fall asleep and wake up in 1938 to hear that Hitler had taken the Sudetenland? Who knew this could happen, in 2022?
Actually, we knew.  Putin told us he was going to do it with every public statement that avoided a direct “no,” with every troop movement at the border, with every invocation of the sovereignty of the pro-Russian separatist regions.  We knew this would happen, and Ukrainian President Zelensky knew this was going to happen even though he put on a brave face, and President Biden knew this was going to happen, and Donald Trump knew this was going to happen.  There are no surprises when it comes to Vladimir Putin’s desire to reconstruct the Soviet Union.  It’s not a matter of “if.”  It’s always been a matter of “when.”
And as I watch this invasion unfold, switching between networks and social media sites, I’ve come to the conclusion that we are no longer the breed of American who parachuted onto the shores of Normandy, sacrificed lives in a bloody grave in the waters of Pearl Harbor, marched with the Fighting 69th to battle Germany a generation before them, went, some willingly with honor and some forced but still with dignity, to Vietnam, and who battled in the heat of deserts to avenge the murder of 3,000 fellow citizens.
We are now tribes, divided by loyalties and political expedience.  It’s not a surprise, given what we’ve seen unfold over the past 20 to 30 years, but it’s a devastating commentary on where we’re headed as a nation.
I spent a good part of the last few days creating my own cocoon, unfriending those who blamed Biden for weakness and those who blamed Trump for loving Putin.  I don’t need them, do not need their alternative viewpoints, won’t be enriched by their separate “takes” on the crisis at hand.  I, who reject information bubbles and try and listen to everyone, especially those who make my blood boil, have decided to give my soul a rest, and block out the noise.  For the moment, and it’s going to be a very long moment, I’m done with dissent.
That’s because whatever you might think of the wisdom of putting boots on the ground in a country located thousands upon thousands of miles away, you cannot simply throw up your hands, offer “thoughts and prayers,” and believe that you’ve done your duty as an American when a dictators swallows up a sovereign nation.
You are also derelict if you try and compare what’s happening in Ukraine to our southern border, blaming liberals for caring more about a foreign nation than about our own security and national integrity.  That’s comparing apples and bloody bodies, or bananas and those standing in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square.  And it’s not because I’m an immigration attorney, or a globalist.  I’m about as conservative as they come on national security, and I came of age during Reagan’s administration.  We are exceptional.  We are that shining city on a hill.
But that also means we are obligated to care about our legacy in the world, which has been battered and bruised by many different, flawed men and women.  Obama was one.  Trump was another.  Biden, the failed bureaucrat of Afghanistan, is most definitely and glaringly a third.
But those leaders are not “America.”  We the People are, and when we start backing off and saying things like “Well, I don’t want my nephew or my son or my grandson or my whatever putting boots on anyone else’s territory.” I despair of ever again being proud of this nation and its history.  And if that makes me sound like Michelle Obama, so be it.
How the hell can we justify being children of Reagan and then running away from Putin and the evil he has internalized, that he represents, that he injects into the global bloodstream?  How, in God’s universe, are we able to stand ourselves for saying “not this time, this is not our battle?”
On the other hand, you have liberals who are so damn obsessed with what happened on Jan. 6, something that was regrettable but did not destroy our essential character, something whose aftermath reinforced that strength and durability, that they ignore the absolute failure of their own tribe, and reach back to blame Trump.  To be clear, this invasion happened on their leader’s watch, not under the guidance of the man they despise.  And yet, if they are calling for engagement, they are making penance for the repellent anti-Americanism they have exhibited in vilifying conservatives over the past years, and decades.
I am devastated to be in this middle place, because I am no moderate.  I actually hate that word, because it communicates a lukewarm, tasteless, insubstantial broth.  A person without values, in other words.  That will anger moderates who believe that they stand on high moral ground.  But only those who are willing to make a choice, a decision in moments of crisis occupy that summit.  And those who try and see “both” sides are often those who see no side clearly.
This may have made no sense, written as it has been from a heart filled with anger and upset, and fingers pushed to create this message on my keyboard like the hands of a gullible child on a Ouija board.  It doesn’t completely make sense to me, either.
But of one thing I am certain.  Any American who takes more pleasure in attacking her political rival than in seeking comfort and protection for the threatened, or who excuses evil if it advances their own partisan goals, is someone I renounce, and excommunicate, from my life.  Effective immediately.
But if you are still reading, and you are still listening, hear this:  As someone who cannot shoot a rifle but who has worked with war refugees, please contact me at the below email address if you know of someone in need of assistance in Ukraine. I will try and direct you to someone who can help.
Christine Flowers is an attorney. Her column appears Sunday and Thursday. Email her at cflowers1961@gmail.com.
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