As a rag-tag collection of fighters has made Russia pay a high price for every step of ground it has gained in Ukraine, a new poll has shown that a majority of members in one political party would head for anywhere else if war came to America’s shores.
Fifty-two percent of Democrats said they would run rather than defend their nation, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. The poll has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.
With 40 percent of Democrats polled saying they would stay to fight, that was the lowest of all groups surveyed. Overall, 55 percent of those surveyed said they would stay while 38 percent said they would leave.
Republicans would battle anyone invading America, according to the poll, with 68 percent saying they would fight and only 25 percent saying they would run. Among independents, 57 percent would remain, and 36 percent would run away.
Multiple commentators have tried to find meaning for America in Ukraine’s long, slow agony.
In a recent column in The New York Times, David Brooks said the war in Ukraine has reminded many around the world about patriotism — even in places where it seems invisible.
“The Ukrainians have been our instructors and inspirers. They’ve been the ordinary men and women in the Times’ video lining up to get weapons to defend their homeland. They’ve been the lady telling a Russian invader to put sunflower seeds in his pocket. They’ve been the thousands of Ukrainians who had been living comfortably abroad, who surged back into the country to risk death to defend their people and way of life,” he wrote.
He said the Ukraine war’s moral legacy will be lasting.
“Things will likely get even more brutal for the Ukrainians. But the moral flame they fueled this week may, in the end, still burn strong,” he wrote.
But in an Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner, Dan Hannan said the fighting has been a reminder that the derided concept of nationalism is a far more powerful force than liberals care to admit, writing “nationalism is back in vogue.”
“Freedom-lovers and Democrats are throwing their weight behind a nation that insists on being fully sovereign rather than entering into a quasi-dependent relationship with its neighbor. They understand, as Ukrainians themselves have long understood, that the things they value, including uncensored newspapers, human rights, the rule of law and personal freedom, depend on being able to hire and fire your own lawmakers,” he wrote.
“Until two weeks ago, this was an enormously unfashionable idea. To argue for the supremacy of the nation-state was to invite accusations of racism,” he wrote, adding, “Sophisticated people believed in a world where borders would eventually dissolve and we’d all be one happy multiculti family.”
“The agonies of Ukraine have reminded us that the national principle, the idea that freedom and democracy are most secure within units where people feel a shared patriotism, is still worth fighting for,” he wrote.
In an Op-Ed in the Lassen County Times, which serves northeastern California, Joe Reagan brought all those concepts home.
“With everything that has transpired over the past few days, my wife and I are suddenly realizing how valuable something as simple as a family dinner can be to a nation’s democracy,” he wrote.
“As Americans, we are grateful that we are largely free of external threats to our family and our freedoms. We should remember that the principles that the people of Ukraine are defending with their lives today are the very same principles that generations of Americans have fought for as well,” he wrote.
“Our country, despite all our self-imposed differences, needs to look at the images coming from Ukraine and bear witness to their unity, and to notice that the only division is between those who stand in defense of democracy and those who stand against it,” he wrote.
Reagan said that the war is a teaching moment for those who love their country.
“My sincere hope is that the sacrifices being made by the people of Ukraine inspire all of us to have the moral courage to recommit ourselves to the ideals we share as Americans and to put aside our petty arguments to find a way to show our families we love them and our country,” he wrote.
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