I applaud the invitation to peace negotiations sent to the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia by U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar. I’d like to see the same from every other Congress Member and from the U.S. Department of State.
I suffer no illusion that any member of Congress places peace above party, that the party of the U.S. president is not the single biggest factor in Congressional rhetoric on war, or that Congressman Gosar is an admirable politician who has not supported fascistic violence. I believe that particular political actions — especially those aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear apocalypse — should be supported or opposed independently of personalities, parties, or the place of elections on the calendar. I believe that, just as one can chew gum while walking, one can say “Negotiations good” AND “Racist assholes shooting at poor people crossing the border bad.”
It’s a shame that one should have to say such an apparently highly incomprehensible thing. It would be nice to be able to say “I support the statement in support of peace and disarmament by the nice elected official with whom I also agree on some other stuff.” But there is no such elected official. Not in the United States. I agree on Ukraine with some relatively nice and sane elected officials in dozens of other countries, plus the European Parliament. But not in the United States. Because there isn’t one. Not one. Neither is there a single voice allowed on U.S. television to say anything decent about Ukraine without being generally odious.
For eight months, the small number of voices in the U.S. media for a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine have tended to be those of longtime supporters of wars and other outrages, including those currently advocating for belligerence toward China. But they have been correct about the need for a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine.
A hateful xenophobic TV ad that aired during a baseball game this week is wrong about pretty much everything yet more right about Ukraine than almost anything in any U.S. television “news” show or newspaper. It associates peace with hating immigrants. And it goes beyond the norm in pretending that the money for Ukraine is somehow good for Ukraine, by suggesting that the weapons are in addition to all the money, most of which is in reality for the weapons. And that, of course, just fuels liberal support for escalating war to the detriment of Ukraine and all of us. Yet the hateful dishonest ad is right that the United States needs to stop shipping weapons to Ukraine and start spending money on something useful instead, whether in the United States or around the world.
My local newspaper in Charlottesville, following the lead of the local Congressional candidates, associates peace and a desire to avoid nuclear apocalypse with the lunatic belief that God wants you to destroy the Earth’s climate. And yet. And yet. Must we not be permitted to say that avoiding nuclear apocalypse is the right thing? Even if an idiot agrees? Even if a racist agrees? Even if some creep supports the same position purely because he is against spending money? Even if he’s against destroying the world for the exact same reason he’s against education or healthcare? Isn’t he still right to be against destroying the world?
And isn’t becoming guilty by association a price worth paying to save the world? Is being labeled a Republican any worse than continuing to merely be labeled a Putinlover? Isn’t it something short of rocket science to comprehend that, just as a radioactive time bomb may be right twice a day, Kissinger and Musk and Trump and Gabbard are right about ending the war in Ukraine whether they’re also right about nothing else, everything else, or a few other things? And completely regardless of their degree of sincerity or comprehension or commitment. Can’t we find a correct statement in a desert of normalized warmongering and say that it’s correct and that we want more of them?
I appeal to media outlets to include other voices for peace. Then I’ll be able to cheer for those other voices.
I appeal to other Congress Members to find the decency to make the sort of proposal that Congressman Gosar has.
I appeal to people who recognize both how the evil Democratic Party is pushing us toward nuclear armageddon and how the evil Republican Party is intent on facsistic, militarized kakistocracy to turn to straightforward honesty and nonviolent activism and education.