Submitted by Henry Mayer. Excerpts from Wall Street Journal Opinion “As Russia Invades Ukraine, the West May Be Getting Serious” by Gerard Baker, February 28, 2022.
“Suddenly, when our political debate is characterized by so much moral posturing, manufactured outrage and sanctimonious preening, it’s illuminating to see what real honor in the face of real adversity looks like.
While privileged young people in America express their outrage at microaggressions in the workplace because someone used the wrong pronoun, the youth of Kyiv are gathering in bunkers to make Molotov cocktails in a last, desperate act to defend their beleaguered city—street by street if necessary—against the most violently macro of aggressions.
While our multimillionaire sports and entertainment stars courageously take to social media to denounce “the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police,” a former television comedian and a former boxing champion in Kyiv are staring down missile strikes and aerial bombardment from the world’s third-largest military to save their country from literal annihilation.
Ideological fanatics here, on both sides, claim America is a moral pariah, grotesquely distorting the story of its past or wildly exaggerating the flaws of its present. Meanwhile, a true pariah state over there is trying to murder a population on a set of pretexts as grotesque as any in history.
There’s nothing wrong with impassioned debate. It’s essential to democracy…. But Ukraine’s fight for survival ought to give us some pause from the hysterical tenor of our domestic political debate. It’s a reminder that freedom isn’t something we can take for granted. Whatever legitimate beefs we may have with the state of our democratic liberties, we can see that brave people in the world are fighting and dying to have those freedoms, and maybe ask ourselves—we who are so disenchanted with our condition—why that might be.”