Both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, the two leaders in the race for the GOP presidential nomination for 2024, although only one has announced a campaign, recently derided the idea that the conflict in Ukraine — and, by extension, the U.S. aid that has been provided — reflect a critical interest for U.S. authorities. And guess what? A solid majority of Republicans actually disagree.
A full 62 percent of Republican poll participants in new survey data from Gallup agreed “the Russia-Ukraine conflict represents a critical threat to U.S. vital interests,” the pollster said, while 58 percent of Democrats said the same. Among independents, it was 51 percent, meaning Trump and DeSantis were out of touch with majorities of all three major political groups. Also out of touch are the Republicans in Congress who’ve taken to either outright deriding the Ukrainian government or simply complaining about the assistance for that government in its fight against Putin’s aggression that the Biden administration has provided. That list includes Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), both of whom were among the supporters of a proposed resolution pushing back against the idea of any more U.S. help for Ukraine at all.
The text of that resolution falsely connected the assistance from American leadership to civilian deaths. Ukrainian soldiers with American weapons aren’t the ones continuing the war — if Russian troops withdrew today, it would be over. If anything, the U.S. weapons have helped keep civilian casualties lower than they’d be otherwise because of the newfound ability to wage a more effective military defense. Elsewhere, prominent Republicans who have spoken in favor of acknowledging the seriousness of what’s going on in Ukraine include Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Mitt Romney (Utah), former Rep. Liz Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice, the former official on Bush’s team.