The United States is not a democracy; it is a representative republic. Until the days of the Obama administration and its massive corruption, that republic worked pretty well. Now we have a Department of Justice that no one can trust, especially if you are a conservative. That will be the legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Ukraine is also a representative republic, although a highly flawed one. The judiciary is seen as not holding those in power accountable, and corruption is rampant.
This corruption is endemic to Ukrainian society and stems from the Soviet influence for over 70 years. Back to Ukraine in a minute.
I agree with my esteemed colleague Ed Lozansky that an agenda of spreading democracy is a fool’s errand for Western nations. I agree with President Trump’s policy of America first and keeping the United States out of pointless, endless foreign wars. I am definitely not a neocon. I also agree with Ed that further NATO expansion to Russia’s borders is not in the best interests of America, as it only pulls us into the “frozen conflicts” of the fall of the USSR.
Many low-information voters don’t even know the U.S. is not a democracy. Democracy is just a word leftists use and manipulate for their own advantage. “Trump is dangerous for our democracy,” they will tell you, all the while working to tear down the Electoral College and other protections the Founding Fathers put into place to prevent the tyranny of the majority. That behavior really is dangerous for our republic.
However, the “spreading of democracy” has nothing to do with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, although I would venture that empowering the Ukrainian people really is a threat to the Kremlin. Russia’s actions there have brought the world’s condemnation upon itself.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko doesn’t like Russia. He makes that quite obvious in his campaign rhetoric. This may be a ploy to achieve re-election; no one has accused Mr. Poroshenko of being lily white and pure. However, this is his prerogative; he is the president, after all. His feelings toward Moscow, which partitioned his country, are understandable. This has nothing to do with the U.S. “spreading democracy.”
In fact, American policies and its dealings with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union may have not been correct or helpful, but no one is responsible for Russia’s current state other than Russia and its leadership. Russia is run by a group of powerful people who do what is best for themselves first and, if any is left over for the Russian people, then so be it.
The drumbeat of war is beating loudly in the Kremlin. Whether it is for show or for domestic consumption is yet to be seen. Many analysts believe the behavior is the result of a need to distract the public from a decline in its standard of living since the collapse in oil prices in 2014 and the concurrent Western sanctions, which seem to grow stronger every day.
What seems to be bothering Moscow now is that the U.S. finally has a leader who will stand up for the American people and their security. Regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Russia broke the agreement years ago. Now that Mr. Trump can respond, Russia is getting worried.
President Trump is a good man and has tried to give the Russian Federation and its leadership the benefit of the doubt and shown light on the path to a peaceful coexistence. If Russia was smart, it would take the outstretched hand from Mr. Trump and negotiate some good arms control deals that both sides could live with.
I have said many times that I don’t see Russia as an existential threat to the United States; on the contrary, it is nowhere near the threat that China is presenting to America’s safety and security.
However, that does not mean that Russian adversarial behavior should not be confronted. False narratives need to be confronted as well.
It seems the only thing the Kremlin will respect is a powerful American military. So as long as we have to spend on our military to provide for our security, I advise the president: Spend, baby, spend.
L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and Wall Street debt trader, and has contributed to Fox Business, The Moscow Times, National Review, the New York Post and many other publications. He can be reached through his website, LToddWood.com.