Jim Elliott

When Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed a joint session of the United States Congress, commentator Tucker Carlson was outraged, purely outraged. “As far as we know, no one’s ever addressed the United States Congress in a sweatshirt before, but they love him much more than they love you,” he fumed.

This from a man who promotes “testicle tanning” (Tucker Carlson Originals, April 2022) as a means of restoring testosterone levels and hence masculinity for American men. Which, no offense to those who think otherwise, is the equivalent of treating of infectious diseases by drinking bleach.

Actually, I guess it’s the opposite, bleach lightens the insides and tanning darkens the outsides. Anyway, as strategies it sounds like they were invented by bleach makers and tanning bed marketers.

Sen. Josh Hawley is concerned about America’s masculinity issues as well; he of the fist pump to the mob storming the Capitol on January 6th, and he of the scamper down the Capitol hallway to escape from the people he had just fist-pumped after his encouragement had borne fruit.

At the CPAC conference last August he wowed the crowd by saying, “They [the Left] want to define the traditional masculine virtues – things like courage and independence and assertiveness – as a danger to society.” This after setting an example of courage by a personal illustration of the expression “he who pumps and runs away lives to run away another day.”

This set up an unfortunate contrast with the people of Ukraine who are disadvantaged because they have neither a place to run to nor electricity with which to use testicle tanners.

It seems that prophets of de-masculinization and proponents of re-masculinization have one thing in common, and that’s admiration for Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator and warmonger who doesn’t mind seeing innocent children suffer. Why do these guys like Vladimir Putin? Is it because they admire his decisiveness, courage, and barechestedness? (Note to Putin admirer Ted Cruz, think twice about wearing a tight-fitting golf shirt in public).

Let me be even-handed. I am taking jibes at the minority of Republicans who want to give up on Ukraine, so I must add a few Democrats to the mix of uninformed ideologues. On October 24, 2022, a letter signed by 30 members of the House Democrats’ Progressive Caucus was released asking that President Biden enter into negotiations with Putin to end the war, calling for concessions from Ukraine.

They found such universal blowback that the Caucus leader, Rep. Pramila Jaypal, D-Washington, withdrew the letter the next day. That stupidity trumped (sorry) the entire repertoire of Republican assaults on Ukrainian pride.

So now that I’ve made mock of some politicians and “influencers” who are against aid to Ukraine or who want Ukraine to offer concessions to Russia in exchange to ending the war, I need to offer my thoughts on why the West must help win this war. It is simple, America has enemies who wish us ill.

To name the most important, they are China and Russia. Shortly before the invasion of Ukraine Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping entered into a mutual agreement of support; “Friendship between the two States has no limits,” said the document they released. As allies they would be the most formidable coalition on earth.

When Putin’s invading army sputtered to a stop north of Ukraine’s capital city less than a month into the war, that mutual aid agreement didn’t look as good to China as it did on paper. As a consequence, China has not endorsed Putin’s actions in Ukraine. To stand strong with Ukraine will continue to keep that “axis of evil” on their back foot. To give up on Ukraine will empower it.

Maybe you don’t like democracy. Well, you can always try living under a dictatorship somewhere else, and if you have enough money you might not have a bad time—if you have enough money.

But the United States of America created modern democracy in 1776 and it spread like wildfire, and still it spreads. It is, uniquely and gloriously American. It is not perfect, but it is better than anything else around and, unlike dictatorships, it has the potential and obligation to better the lives of its people. Cherish it. Improve it. Expand it.

Montana Viewpoint has appeared in weekly and online newspapers across Montana for over 25 years. Jim Elliott served sixteen years in the Montana Legislature as a state representative and state senator. He lives on his ranch in Trout Creek.