Op-Ed: We Are In A New Era
Elections have consequences.
Despite differences on domestic policy, for decades Democrats and Republicans were united in supporting democracy abroad. For decades Democrats and Republicans understood that America was the anchor of NATO and that NATO was the strongest and most effective deterrent to the Soviet Union in the Cold War. That resolve helped bring down the Berlin Wall and brought freedom to millions in Eastern Europe.
In the Putin era, Democrats and Republicans united to oppose his dangerous vision of recreating a Russian empire. Both parties knew that a united America was essential in maintaining peace in a dangerous world.
Until Donald Trump came along. When he was a candidate in 2016, he made it clear that he would be the first president to defend Vladimir Putin’s reign of terror. Putin praised Trump and like a stray dog, when Putin petted Trump, he followed him home. Trump even defended Putin’s murderous campaign against journalists, saying “America kills a lot of people too.”
In Helsinki the civilized world watched in horror as Trump stood next to a Russian dictator and praised him. In all of this, the Republican party supported Trump, shattering a post-World War Two united front opposing the tyranny of Moscow.
Elections have consequences. Vladimir Putin saw a divided America and now the post-World War Two Pax Americana has been shattered. Once again a murderous regime has marched into a smaller European country driven by the fantasies of a deranged leader who is an enemy of the civilized world.
But still Donald Trump, the leader of the Republican Party, continues to praise Putin, calling him “brilliant” even as he was moving to murder innocent men, women and children across Ukraine. And once again the Republican party refuses to denounce Donald Trump.
We are in a new era. There are no longer two parties in America who support freedom in Eastern Europe. We have a democratic party in America and an authoritarian movement in America.
The work of the Lincoln Party has never been more important. Many of us are former Republicans who understand the necessity of the common cause of the moment. We will continue to call out the treachery of a pro-Putin American movement. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian freedom fighters who are now putting their lives on the line for what to defend their families and homeland.
Democracy is on the ballot in America. Not just democracy in America but America’s role as the shining city on the hill, a beacon of democracy for the world.
– Stuart Stevens