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Whatever U.S. Elites Are Defending In Ukraine, It Is NOT Democracy

The real problem with holding presidential elections in Ukraine right now is that Ukrainians might vote to end the war.


 

TheFederalist.com

It’s getting harder and harder to pretend the war in Ukraine, now in its third year, is about “defending democracy,” as our political elites in Washington insist.

This is especially true when Secretary of State Antony Blinken shows up in Ukraine to deliver billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund the war, proclaims that Ukraine’s scheduled presidential elections this spring are canceled until “conditions allow” (Ukraine has not held elections since 2019), and then jaunts off to a popular Kyiv nightclub to play a boomerish cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

That actually happened this week. 

And it happened just days after Russia unleashed an armored ground offensive in Ukraine’s northeast near the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv. 

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued pushing the same quixotic message he’s been repeating for years now: Ukraine is in dire need of even more Western aid, without which the war effort will collapse, but also Ukraine is capable of “winning” this war — that is, expelling all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.

At this point, no one really believes that. Nor does anyone really believe — if they ever did — that Ukraine, one of the most corrupt countries in the world before the war began, is a bastion of democracy. Indeed, asked about presidential elections in Ukraine, which were scheduled for this spring but have been delayed indefinitely, Blinken said bluntly that there will be no elections until “all Ukrainians” can vote.

That means no elections even if a ceasefire or peace plan is in place, so long as Russia controls any Ukrainian territory. In other words, it’s a recipe for the permanent suspension of elections in Ukraine, since any ceasefire or negotiated peace process will inevitably see Russia in control of at least some Ukrainian territory.

There’s also a profound dishonesty at work here on the part of the Biden administration and the Zelensky government. For many years, Ukrainian elections pitted the pro-Russian eastern parts of the country against the European-leaning western parts, with the latter constantly accusing Moscow of meddling in the country’s elections to keep Ukraine in Russia’s orbit. Glance at a map of Ukraine’s election results from 2004 or 2010, and it’s easy to see the geographical-political divide in the country. 

The Russian invasion has now taken many of those voters in the eastern parts of Ukraine out of the electoral equation. So why would Ukraine’s current pro-Western leadership want to cancel elections until these pro-Russian areas are able to vote?

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, allow me to suggest that maybe the insistence on “all Ukrainians” being able to vote is a cynical ploy to prevent elections from taking place in the near future. Maybe Zelensky knows that Ukrainians, if given the chance, would vote his regime out of office and pursue peace negotiations with Moscow that Zelensky’s Western sponsors won’t allow.

Given what we know about Western elites’ view of “democracy,” it isn’t that far-fetched. After all, when they talk about “protecting democracy” here in the U.S., they don’t mean ensuring that citizens can vote in the leaders of their choosing. As cybersecurity expert Mike Benz explained on a Tucker Carlson podcast back in February, they mean protecting the institutions of democratic society and insulating them from reform — institutions like the CIA, FBI, IMF, and the World Bank. Those institutions, not the will of the voters, are what must be protected above all. And if it comes down to a contest between the two, the institutions must be protected from the voters — that is, “democracy” must be protected from the threat of free and fair elections.

So while it’s easy to scoff at the indefinite postponement of elections in Ukraine (and easier still to scoff at Blinken’s cringe-inducing guitar-playing in Kyiv), we would do well to consider what it might mean for election here at home. The truth is, our own deep state might well try to deploy this exact same rhetoric to delay or suspend elections in the United States one day, perhaps even this November. 

It’s not hard to imagine how that might play out. A series of threats or purported attacks on “election infrastructure” would lead to calls for a delay, until we can ensure that all Americans can vote. In time, the categories of Americans who must be allowed to vote in order for the election to be legitimate might even expand to include felons and illegal immigrants. Is that far-fetched? After what we saw in 2020, I don’t think so.

The main takeaway from the cancellation of elections in Ukraine is that the permanent regime in Washington doesn’t really want free and fair elections in Ukraine right now for the same reason they don’t really want free and fair elections here in America: The voters might get in the way of their agenda, and they can’t have that.

 

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