Joe “don’t know much about history” Biden, as the song goes, escalates U.S. involvement in the no-win war in the Ukraine, in an echo of how a similar no-win escalation in Vietnam ended the political career of Democrat President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) in 1968. By surprisingly visiting Kyiv on Monday and promising increased American financial support for a corrupt regime on Russia’s border, Biden is directly provoking the mighty Russian bear.
Russia’s President Putin has already responded by suspending Russia’s participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty, which is the only remaining major nuclear treaty between Russia and the U.S. Putin’s linking of nuclear weapons to Biden’s actions is a chilling reminder of the growing risks of Biden’s reckless intervention in that hopeless conflict.
Biden imperils the United States even worse than LBJ did, because Russia has far greater military firepower than North Vietnam ever had. Russia has long-range missiles that could easily reach unprotected American targets, and so does its new ally China, which reportedly sent a high-level delegation to Moscow on Tuesday in order to increase ties between those former antagonists.
Congress has not authorized this war, and the American people have never been asked to approve it. Public support for sending American weapons to Ukraine has dropped from 60% last year to less than 50% last week, according to a new poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
An NBC News poll last month showed that merely 41% of Americans approve Biden’s approach to this war. Young voters are more opposed to this entanglement, and they are a key swing demographic in elections.
One of the few Republicans who did well in a swing state last November was the one who spoke out against continued American involvement in this war. JD Vance won by a near-landslide with that campaign position in Ohio, where there are many immigrants from Ukraine.
Democrats should take a history lesson in how the Vietnam War issue took down LBJ in 1968, when he was at the peak of his political power and younger than age 60. He appeared invincible for reelection against a weak Republican opponent, the twice-defeated retread Richard Nixon, who had been humiliated by a 5-point loss for governor of his home state of California.
But then an unfunded, obscure senator-poet from Minnesota named Gene McCarthy, not the anti-communist Joe McCarthy from Wisconsin, challenged LBJ in the first presidential primary in New Hampshire. Resistance to LBJ’s pro-war stance enabled McCarthy to embarrass the incumbent by denying him a majority.
LBJ departed the race by the end of the month, and his vice president Hubert Humphrey was ultimately nominated by Democrats for what became a tight contest that fall. Then, as now, young voters were less pro-war than the Democrat politicians, and Nixon appealed to young voters by promising to bring an end to America’s involvement in Vietnam.
Polls today show that only a tiny percentage of voters are undecided as to which of the two major parties they will support in the next election. Republicans would do well, as Nixon did in 1968 and JD Vance did last year, to focus on young voters who do not support perpetual war.
The two ends of the political spectrum, the Right and Left, align against the middle on this issue of escalating the war in Ukraine. Moderate Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who relies on globalist support to cling to his power as the leader of Senate Republicans, is hurting our country and his party by siding with Biden on Ukraine.
While Mitch McConnell is working with his fellow octogenarian Joe Biden to push the wrong war at the wrong time, younger conservative Republicans in both chambers of Congress are speaking out sharply against it. “They can keep him,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) stated in outrage about Biden’s prioritizing a war halfway around the world over the crisis at our southern border and the toxic train wreck catastrophe in Ohio.
As tweeted by freshman Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO), who was elected with the support of Trump, “If you want to understand why so many Americans are frustrated right now: Biden is in Ukraine before Ohio.”
Yet globalists who profit from perpetual war in distant lands expect to win this issue in the Swamp. McConnell’s continuing support of the war gives Biden less to be worried about in his own reelection campaign for president, if Democrats renominate him.
On Saturday, at the globalist Munich Security Conference in Germany where Kamala Harris made a fool of herself last year, the prime minister of the United Kingdom recklessly vowed to provide long-range weaponry that would enable Ukraine to attack targets inside Russia. Europeans should be told not to expect U.S. help if Russia or China retaliate against them.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.