A “Freedom Convoy” that we can all support: Send the truckers to Russia!
In any negotiation aimed at ending Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked terrorist war against the Ukrainian people, can we add one small demand: that he open his borders to anti-Americans here at home?
I think he would be good with that.
I know I would.
I’m talking about the armed, flagpole-waving insurgents, those fake truckers with their fake demands for fake freedom to wear masks that they weren’t wearing anyway – at least not on their noses – and all those people who want to push their incredibly silly religious beliefs or conspiracy theories on the rest of us, the reasonably educated “elite”.
RELATED: The ‘people’s convoy’, like Trump’s social media platform, is a right-wing scam that went bankrupt
Anyone who (at least until very recently) has openly praised Putin as a stronger leader than his own president.
A jury has just handed down the first conviction of a Jan. 6 insurgent, and he will be sentenced in June. Given that there are something like 750 cases to be handled by the Department of Justice, some have suggested that the judge in this case will issue a harsh sentence to encourage others to enter into a plea deal.
What if these defendants had the freedom to make a different choice – a choice that would spare the country the expense of a trial and possibly incarceration? They could emigrate to Mother Russia. (It might be more appealing if Putin renamed it “Russia Daddy,” given the general misogyny and repressed erotic lust found on the American right.)
It’s nice to see Republican support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s war – after good initial coverage – and polls show a large majority of Americans saying they’re ready for an increase in gasoline prices to support the overall effort. But there’s no doubt that Republican leaders will start blaming President Biden for rising gas prices as soon as they think they can get away with it – oh wait, they never stopped – as if he, or any president, had any control over the price at the pump.
But to all the true Putin fanboys, like Fox News “personality” Tucker Carlson, and those like him who see Russia or Hungary as a model for our future, I say go for it. Democracy makes you very uncomfortable, like reading generally popular literature. And a lot of science. And a good part of the story. And, now, gender studies.
The problem with you is that your oft-expressed desire to “be free” is primarily about imposing your religious beliefs on others and restricting your fellow citizens’ freedom of life, freedom and pursuit of their own happiness, including that of freedom and happiness. feels like a citizen by voting, exercising democratic responsibility, and feeling that fundamental sense of agency in the world.
Your idea of freedom is that everyone is free to think like you. (How Putin-esque!) Are your anti-democratic impulses suited to life in the increasingly diverse United States of America in the 21st century? Let me put it in a way you will understand: Nyet.
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Perhaps AARP magazine should include the states of the Russian Federation and allied countries in future articles on the best places to retire. You know, AARP staff could provide additional categories for aging Americans with pro-Putin leanings to consider. Besides the standard categories of taxes, recreation and health care, they could include the region’s authorities’ ability to crack down on protesters, women and journalists, or their usefulness to people who want to launder money. In Occident. Some wealthy Americans might choose to retire, say, to Belarus or Kyrgyzstan instead of Florida (and not go through the current endless hassle of turning Florida into Belarus or Kyrgyzstan). For less affluent Russian fans, “Borscht-ing on a Budget” and “Surviving – and Thriving – in a Siberian Winter!” are a few story ideas that immediately come to mind.
Here at home, we would also like to be free from your endless trolls – which is an impulse, come to think of it, that could be very useful to you in the Russian Federation or its allied states. So does that strong desire you seem to have lately to suppress the vote, snitch on your neighbors, and report them to the authorities (which, OK, can sometimes backfire on you).
You would have the freedom to live in a country where books don’t need to be banned or burned, because they just aren’t published in the first place; where LGBTQ rights are unknown, in part because these acronyms, as well as human rights in general, remain inapplicable in Russian; and where women and people of color know better than to raise their voices as full human beings.
You know, those good old “true American” values!
We can save the nation and the union, without dividing it into states or counties – or by ceding our reddest counties to Putin’s lame alt-NATO protectorate, the CSTO. You and your fellow Putin fans, along with evangelicals (who don’t understand the First Amendment), gun fetishists (who don’t understand the Second Amendment), and white supremacists (who don’t understand the 14, the 15 and – well, a number of amendments, and the life and message of Jesus) can live in a country much better suited to your fanaticism and fervent beliefs.
As Christian historian Jemar Tisby, author of the best-selling books “The Color of Compromise” and “How to Fight Racism”, has explained at length, the fact that white American Christians are bent on white nationalism has nothing again. Writer, farmer and philosopher Wendell Berry called our deep reluctance to acknowledge our racist history America’s hidden wound, and the right is now very busy covering it up more.
But fear not, Republicans – Putin has your back. His form of Christianity is said to be more about power and ideology than theology. And many right-wing Americans, who have been made to fear an “elite” left and hate their political opponents for advocating diversity and inclusion in our pluralistic, multicultural democracy, greatly admire any “strongman” who could make it all go away, with great help from a like-minded Supreme Court.
The gruesome scenes of human devastation we are witnessing from cellphones and home videos from Ukraine may momentarily silence most Putin aficionados and apologists in the United States, but don’t think for a moment that they still don’t like it.
Seeing brave Ukrainians push back against the petty Russian tyrant, with their lives and homeland at stake, and an empathetic and capable American president working methodically with the leaders of a strengthened NATO against him, should make us appreciate the inherent strength of the American promise — painfully slow, yes, but still a promise, a noble aspiration — of greater justice for all, and of the creative energy that emanates from our blessed diversity of thought and culture.
I want to be as proud of my homeland as Ukrainians obviously are of theirs.
This convoy of truckers was a fake AstroTurf protest, but a ‘freedom convoy’ of insurgents and QAnoners and Putin’s minions in Congress and the media packing their bags and heading straight out of this country would be the real thing .
Let’s forge a moment of rare bipartisan consensus and make your freedom convoy – and ours – a reality.
Learn more about the conflict in Ukraine and how we got here: