On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Having occupied Crimea eight years earlier, Czar Vladimir I of the Putin Dynasty advanced his goal of a new Russian Empire with another unprovoked attack on his neighbor.

          For nearly two years, we have been watching outnumbered Ukrainians first stop the onslaught then begin repelling the invaders, suffering war crimes all the while. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has become a symbol of democracy as he has led his country’s resistance to the Russian bear.

          Of course, if Donald Trump had been re-elected, Zelensky would likely be dead, in exile or imprisoned. His cell would likely be separate from the countrywide prison that Putin would have made for subjugated Ukrainians.

          Do you think Trump would have provided one speck of aid to the embattled Ukrainians?

Trump was Putin’s puppet.

          Trump fawned over Putin like a freshman schoolgirl in the presence of the senior quarterback. The groveling position he put our nation in would be nothing compared to the destruction of Ukrainian sovereignty that Putin seeks.

          And, just as Putin has sycophants such as Trump, the ex-president has his minions, such as those hearing him float the idea of dictatorship without denouncing it. Colluders all.

          After new House Speaker Mike Johnson’s pilgrimage to Florida to kiss Trump’s ring, Congressional Republicans threw up roadblocks to American aid to Ukraine. Their smoke screen is the immigration problem. But, their actions dovetail with Trump’s Putin First ideology.

          Turning the world over to dictators by Republicans hoping for a Trump dictatorship was also at the heart of a bill introduced by Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee last week which called for the U.S. to pull out of the United Nations. For bad measure, he threw in the abandonment of the World Health Organization.

          It is a messy world. The Republicans’ cowardly response (eh, Citizen Bonespurs?) is to hide on the sidelines. That makes America last, not first.

          And what do Republicans stand for?

          South of Red River, the Texas GOP Executive Committee rejected a proposed ban on associating with nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers.

          Robert Downen of The Texas Tribune reported on Dec. 2 how his journal had previously “published photos of (Nick) Fuentes, an avowed admirer of Adolf Hitler who has called for a ‘holy war’ against Jews, entering and leaving the offices of Pale Horse Strategies, a consulting firm for far-right candidates and movements.

          “Pale Horse Strategies is owned by Jonathan Stickland, a former state representative and at the time the leader of a political action committee, Defend Texas Liberty, that two West Texas oil billionaires have used to fund right-wing movements, candidates and politicians in the state — including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

          “Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the Texas GOP, was also seen entering the Pale Horse offices while Fuentes was inside for nearly 7 hours. He denied participating, however, saying he was visiting with someone else at the time and didn’t know Fuentes was there.”


          For those with short memories, this is the same Holocaust-denying Nick Fuentes who dined with Trump in November of 2022.

          And, more minions on parade, GOP House members last week criticized university presidents for not tackling the anti-Semitic rhetoric on college campuses.

          What about the campus at Mar-a-Lago? Yeah, we know. You are on your knees kissing Trump’s feet.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: <scdpok.us> or <facebook.com/SCDPOK/>.)

GOP endorses totalitarian rule

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