'Almost treasonous': Is Mitt Romney right about Americans siding with Putin?
- On February 27, 2022, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senator Mitt Romney commented on Liz Cheney’s tweets about Putin support as “almost treasonous” saying, “[Putin] imprisons his political opponents. He’s been an adversary of America at every chance he’s had. It’s unthinkable to me.”
- After former President Trump called President Putin’s military strategy as “genius,” other conservative voices followed suit in pro-Putin sentiments, like Candace Owens, Tucker Carlson, Tulsi Gabbard, Josh Hawley, and others.
- Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, “unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks” with condemnation coming from the US, Europe, South Korea, Australia, and other countries.
- Russia has deployed over 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s border in the last few months with claims of maintaining “peace.”
- Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 on the basis of Russians and Ukrainians being “one people” and defending the historic parts of Ukraine as Russia. After a peace deal was reached in 2015, large battles were put to a stop, but “frequent skirmishes” continued.
Whenever there is a conflict or war, there will always be people in America who have opposing views. Despite the unprovoked war against Ukraine by Russia, some in America still support the actions of President Putin. First, it is important to know that our first amendment and right to free speech sets us apart from many other nations. We are a democratic republic that should not muzzle up the opposing views—even if they go against our values and beliefs.
Secondly, it is important to remember the US has fought many wars abroad in recent decades and, for the most part, has come home empty after having lost many American lives and untold billions. There is a real argument that getting involved in another war will be another major catastrophe for the nation. Just siding with Putin does not mean that one is an anti-American—it simply means for whatever reason they do not want the US to get involved. Polls show that nearly eight out of ten young people believe Russia is not an enemy and perhaps an ally. Back in 2014, when the Russians annexed Crimea (part of Ukraine) not many Americans voiced their opposition against Putin—most Americans felt the US did not have a responsibility to do anything in that situation. And the same sentiments apply to the present war against Ukraine. The US cannot be the 'global policemen' and start to interfere with the internal affairs of every nation under the threat of war. People who may not immediately side with Ukraine are advising we take care of the problems at home first, as we have had enough shares of international conflicts.
Comments from some in the Republican party, such as former President Trump, seeming to support Russian President Vladimir Putin is beyond simply repugnant and are, as Mitt Romney says, 'almost treasonous.' At this time of crisis, Americans are being asked to potentially make sacrifices in order to ensure the freedom of the Ukrainian people. Sanctions levied against the Russian economy will have effects for certain sectors of the American economy and the constant threat of military intervention means service members and their families will be on edge in the coming weeks. Indeed we all will be concerned as the United States and her allies attempt to force an unstable nuclear power to back down from its military action. So while everyday citizens will deal with the fallout from these actions, Putin-apologists are actively working in opposition to the government, which is trying to bring a swift end to this conflict; nearly treasonous behavior.
Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, the Russian state has an abhorrent record on human rights. In addition to crackdowns on dissent, Putin's government has detained and imprisoned political prisoners and has likely been the force behind several high-profile extra-judicial killings, frequently using poison. In coalition with Syrian forces, it has bombed indiscriminately in Aleppo using banned cluster bombs, which has killed thousands and is now reportedly bombing civilian targets in Ukraine. These actions stand firmly against what we stand for in America, and any Americans showing support for them should be called out publicly as 'almost treasonous.' America stands for freedom and democracy, not for violent autocrats who mistreat their own citizens.