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There is a war happening in Ukraine. This is not a good thing – war never is – but before going further, spend some time being thankful. You’ve lived in a time where the world mostly agreed that free trade, free travel, and respect for human life were the baseline. Abridging any of these things required a good excuse, and the cops enforcing the law were usually from the USA and its liberal allies.
You were born on the right team and for the most part, that team had everyone’s best interests in mind. Now, with Russian troops in Ukraine, we are all asking — is this era over?
But before we go there, let’s look in our own back yard. Let’s catch-up with the somewhat beleaguered Leader of the Free World, and think our way through what this war means at home. It all starts with…
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Now, if there is one problem with Joe Biden’s game, it’s that he does the classic senator thing: trying to to be everyone’s best friend.
Indeed, as Everclear said in their 1997 single, “Everything to Everyone,” trying to please the whole world is a foolish game that requires you to “put yourself in stupid places” and “sell your body by the pound.”
And to a large extent, the disappointments of Biden’s presidency have had a lot to do with a reasonable man’s desire to please too many people.
Here are some of the contradicting promises Joe Biden has made to the nation since emerging as the Democratic nominee:
- Biden successfully ran a campaign based on national unity by winning states that were solidly Republican just a few years ago
- At the same time, Biden has declared the country to be in the midst of the “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War” because places like Texas opted not to continue with drive-through voting; and has labeled rank-and-file Republicans agents of “Jim Crow 2.0.” Not very unifying.
- And his Administration has said bizarre things that no reasonable person – especially a lifelong reasonable guy like Joe Biden – would actually believe.
- From a weird conspiracy theory that inflation is caused by a cabal of mega beef companies, to a now-shuttered COVID aid program that explicitly put white men at the very back of the line to receive government assistance… the President has just said and done a lot of stuff that probably goes against his own instincts.
We’ve gotten used to a president whose public persona is that of a bumbling woke grandpa who is wasting all his energy trying to prove to the kids that he’s still cool. But now, Joe Biden sounds different.
Met with a war in Ukraine, Biden is regularly facing the American People and speaking with clarity and confidence. There is no doubt where he stands on the issues and he seems to know exactly where he wants the Nation and the NATO alliance to move next.
At Thursday’s press conference, Biden was clear that he was doing just about everything a President can do, leaning on our allies to help with the rest, and very happy to answer that I just don’t know when asked tough questions about the situation with non-NATO powers like China and India.
Compare that to a President who a month ago was blaming inflation on Big Hamburger.
It’s this pundit’s belief that, while many people will suffer in Eastern Europe, Joe Biden will likely benefit. He is walking and talking like a confident president, and the American People will see that too.
And in a way, this makes perfect sense. Joe Biden is a Kennedy Democrat, raised during a World War and elected during a Cold War – too old and out of touch to navigate the domestic culture war that younger people are obsessed with, but perhaps the perfect man to manage the U.S. role in a real war that’s being fought with tanks and helicopters (and not just nasty tweets).
Joe Biden is good at this. It’s what his career is built on. We think the rest of the country is about to notice too.
Now, let’s talk about the war in Ukraine
At Star Spangled Gamblers, we are not experts on foreign policy. That’s not what we do. What we do is connect stories that most people don’t think are related, and make accurate predictions about what they mean for the future.
Like you, we are asking ourselves why Russia would bring war to Ukraine, a neighbor with whom they have so much shared history. That’s the point: why here and why now? Why did Putin decide that Thursday was D-Day, and not Sunday morning, or a date 3 years in the past or 10 in the future?
Obviously, the answer draws from a lot of streams. But there is one critical component that we’ve had a lot of input on here in the USA.
Because, as they say, timing is everything, and there has never really been a better time to test America than today. We are a deeply divided nation that is mostly focused on fighting ourselves. We devote too much of our energy to anger, and the target tends to be our neighbors.
“Did they just go to Chik-fil-A!!??”
“It’s ‘Merry Christmas,’ not ‘Happy Holidays.”
“They voted for TRUMP!!??”
“I’m not wearing a damn mask!”
You get the idea. People all over the world can see this division among Americans and that includes Vladamir Putin. He sees a super power that doesn’t respect itself, so he doesn’t respect us either.
Here are Putin’s own words, from a speech this past October. This is his account for why Western nations in 2022 are as backward as Russia was in 1917:
“The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness… The destruction of age-old values, religion, and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones – all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today.”
In other words, the Woke craze has crippled the United States the same way Bolshevism crippled Russia.
Okay, we’ve said that before. So has every crank on Fox News.
But there are two sides of this coin. Because lately, right wingers have become obsessed with their victim status too. That’s a big reason why Trump won in 2016.
Now days, grievance and anger are at the center of what it means to be a Republican.
Ask yourself: what do Republicans stand for? There was a time when the conservative movement sowed a healthy distrust in government bureaucrats. But today, the list of American institutions that the average GOP Senator publicly despises has grown to include public schools, tech companies, big banks, ESPN, LeBron James, the NFL and its sissy woke protests, the Media, Hollywood, higher education, and the entire Republican Party prior to Donald Trump.
This week, The Washington Post measured this in a frightening way: that Republicans like Vladamir Putin more than they do Joe Biden.
What does that say to a tyrant?
Remember, animals, power hates a vacuum. If Americans are unwilling to back their principles, then another society will will projects its own. This axiom is true for Woke hardos who want to destroy all knowledge and achievement that doesn’t comply with their worldview; and it’s true for conservatives who spend their time discrediting the institutions that hold our nation together.
We can build all the stealth bombers we want, but as long as Americans squabble over what it means to be an American, they’ll remain in their hangers. The greatest weapon is unity, and without it, every other tool of diplomacy is worthless.
Putin’s calculus for war in Europe is broader than any one thing. But if I were Putin, picking my battles, I would choose a time when my enemies were too busy arguing over Joe Rogan’s podcast to care about the fate of nations.