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  • Reverend James Squire

The Difference Between Politicians and Ukrainians

There have been iconic photos over the years that have captured the times in a graphic fashion. These include the shooting of Kent State students in the 60(s) and most recently the picture of Derek Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd.

There was another defining moment in a short video that I have posted below. What I want you to see is from 3:34 to 3:54 in the video when Alina Ulinanova, a Ukrainian citizen standing with her two teenage sons, comments on the Russian threat. She and her sons have been training on the weekends as part of the citizens who are willing to put their lives on the line and serve in the military. When asked by the interviewer if she is afraid that she will die, she replies, “I am going to die someday. What is important is to live a life with dignity.” She is a small lady with her sons resembling what we would find in our own neighborhoods.

When people ask the question in ethics about what makes something a value, one of the responses is, “What is so important to you that you would be willing to die for it? Alina’s response is “my nation and family.”

The evening news about Ukraine is like a bucket of cold water in one’s face. There is no mention of the sacrifice that they are willing to pay regarding masks. There is no whining. They are “other” centered. They are putting their lives on the line.

I can imagine a good many colleagues and friends who would be willing to exhibit this level of integrity, but I can think of very few politicians. I could see Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, John McCain, Robert Dole as well as other Presidents and other politicians make the same statement. I struggle to see Trump, McCarthy, Cruz, and Hawley and other allies of Trump and certainly not gun loving Broebert or Marjorie Taylor Green utter those sentiments. Mr. bone spurs has already called our troops “suckers” for putting themselves on the line.

Who comes to your and my mind? It is one of the most difficult questions to address? What separates the Ukrainians and us is that they see clearly who is a threat to their way of life, the Russians, and are standing as one. We, on the other hand, have the threat to our way of life speaking publicly each day as we have received more and more new revelations about January 6. We still don’t realize that our enemy is hiding in plain sight. “We have met the enemy and it is us. (Pogo).” “We have forgotten that justice delayed is justice denied (William Gladstone).” Our delay has empowered the enemy. We are just learning how close we came to having our democracy taken from us by Trump and his allies. Speedy resolution is our answer coupled with the kind of courage and dedication demonstrated by a little lady and her two teenage sons in Ukraine standing in the snow in the cold.

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