by Shelt Garner
It’s a testament to how fucked up the American political system is right now that a powerful portion of electorate sees Putin’s autocratic managed-democracy as something to look up to.
Let me be clear from the beginning — I’m not expert on what’s going on in Ukraine with the Russians but I know enough to have an educated opinion. It definitely seems as though there’s a greater-than-zero-sum chance that the Russians might make some sort of power grab in the coming days. As such, it makes you wonder what the reaction of MAGA would be to such an event.
A lot depends on if any conflict between Ukraine and Russia is big enough to puncture the America’s inward looking media narrative bubble. If it’s simply a short, swift tactical attack then, lulz, it may be the focus of news junkies but in general Blue and Red will continue to be too busy plotting how we’re going to murder each other in cold blood for political reasons in four years to worry about it.
But, God forbid, it’s not just a tactical land grab but a significant war then there’s a possibility that much like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s the event will come to dominate the American news cycle. And we really haven’t had such a conflict in the era of social media so it’s possible that both sides would flood Americans Facebook and Twitter feeds with gore and violence in an effort to swing public opinion.
That’s where MAGA gets involved.
It’s easy to imagine a scenario where MAGA gives full-throated support to the Russians to the point that, much like the COVID19 pandemic what you think about what should be done will be seen through the prism of your political affiliation.
The traditional Cold War dynamic might be turned upside down with MAGA Republicans siding with the Russians and everyone else siding with Ukraine. Though, to be fair, the dynamic would be a bit more complicated than that — a lot would rest on what Trump’s hot take on the situation was. A lot Establishment Republicans — especially in the Senate — would freak the fuck out if Russia attacked Ukraine in a major way and difference between MAGA Republicans and traditional conservative Republicans might be quite glaring.
And, remember, the last time Ukraine was part of public debate in the United States is was as part of Trump’s first impeachment trial. So there may be some lingering hostility towards Ukraine on the part of some Republicans that might not otherwise be there.
And, yet, I have my doubts that anything will come up Russia’s current shenanigans on the Ukrainian border. They do shit like this all the time and it’s possible after a few days this will recede from our attention like all the other times Putin has done similar things.