A possible white Christian nationalist squeeze on Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

Ishaan Tharoor warns that if Republicans do as well in the midterm elections on November 8 as many expect, they may very well put a squeeze on funding for Ukraine’s defense against Russia, in part because many of them feel much more of a kinship to the likes of Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán than to the cosmopolitan West.[2] I’ve been back and forth on this prospect as illiberal politicians have done well electorally in Europe and as I have been cautiously optimistic that Republicans might be headed for defeat in the midterms.[3] Right now, with the midterms a day away, the best I can say is that it’s nail-biting time.

But of course, the risk isn’t just on the right. As Tharoor notes,[4] there are tankies, who favor any imperialism as long as it isn’t U.S. or North Atlantic Treaty Organization imperialism,[5] even among so-called progressives in Congress,[6] and, as I have discovered to my horror, among leading figures in the Green Party in the U.S., lending support to a claim that support for the Green Party is in fact support for Republicans,[7] and thus white Christian nationalism.

As I look at the many yard signs for John Fetterman (the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate) and Josh Shapiro (the Democratic nominee for governor) even in areas of southwestern Pennsylvania where I would not expect to see them, however, and as I see the still-near-total-disappearance of yard signs and campaign flags for Donald Trump, I have to suspect that the forecasts of a Republican takeover in the House of Representatives may be overblown;[8] these forecasts, whether optimistic or pessimistic, are, after all, based on a bogus non-methodology (polls with single-digit response rates[9]). But I think the tankies’ betrayal affects my intuition perhaps even more than white Christian nationalism itself: I feel a deep unease now on many issues, certainly not just Ukraine.

Ishaan Tharoor, “A Republican winter may be coming for Ukraine,” Washington Post, November 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/07/ukraine-midterms-aid-republican/


White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)

Fig. 1. A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Gainesville, Florida, Dec. 31, 1922, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Ishaan Tharoor, “A Republican winter may be coming for Ukraine,” Washington Post, November 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/07/ukraine-midterms-aid-republican/



Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[10] fair use.

Nick Bonyhady, “Twitter is no LinkedIn. Charging for blue ticks won’t work,” Sydney Morning Herald, November 1, 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/technology/twitter-is-no-linkedin-charging-for-blue-ticks-won-t-work-20221101-p5bum9.html

Elon Musk, “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. . . .” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587498907336118274

Elon Musk, “Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587499283573530625

Elon Musk, “You will also get . . .” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587500060853424129

Elon Musk, “And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587500624098246656

Elon Musk, “This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587505731611262976

Elon Musk, “There will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians,” Twitter, November 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587527711228149765

Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “Ad Giants Advise Brands to Pause Spending on Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ad-giants-advise-brands-to-pause-spending-on-elon-musks-twitter-11667333021

Edward Ludlow and Kurt Wagner, “Musk Plans to Eliminate Half of Twitter Jobs to Cut Costs,” Bloomberg, November 2, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-02/musk-plans-to-eliminate-half-of-twitter-jobs-in-cost-cut-drive

Naomi Nix, “Elon Musk says Twitter won’t restore banned accounts for weeks,” Washington Post, November 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/02/musk-twitter-bans-trump/

David Frum, “Why I Logged Off Twitter,” Atlantic, November 3, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/11/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-changes/671980/

Mike Isaac and Ryan Mac, “Elon Musk, Under Financial Pressure, Pushes to Make Money From Twitter,” New York Times, November 3, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/03/technology/elon-musk-twitter-money-finances.html

Catherine Rampell, “World’s richest man decides to set $44 billion on fire,” Washington Post, November 3, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/03/elon-musk-twitter-advertisers-content-moderation/

Samuel Stolton, “EU Twitterati plot escape amid Musk takeover,” Politico, November 3, 2022, https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-twitterati-plot-escape-plan-amid-elon-musk-twitter-takeover/

Suzanne Vranica and Patience Haggin, “General Mills, Audi and Pfizer Join Growing List of Companies Pausing Twitter Ads,” Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/general-mills-audi-and-pfizer-join-growing-list-of-companies-pausing-twitter-ads-11667507765

Josh Eidelson, “Twitter Sued for Mass Layoffs by Musk Without Enough Notice,” Bloomberg, November 4, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-04/twitter-sued-for-mass-layoffs-by-musk-without-enough-notice

Drew Harwell, Cat Zakrzewski, and Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Twitter layoffs gutted election information teams days before midterms,” Washington Post, November 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/05/twitter-layoffs-election-impact/

Sarah E. Needleman and Alexa Corse, “Elon Musk Says Twitter Has Had Massive Revenue Drop as Layoffs Begin,” Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-says-twitter-has-had-massive-revenue-drop-11667573127

Sanjay Patnaik, Robert E. Litan, and James Kunhardt, “The national security grounds for investigating Musk’s Twitter acquisition,” Brookings, November 4, 2022, https://www.brookings.edu/research/why-biden-would-be-justified-in-blocking-or-modifying-musks-twitter-acquisition-on-national-security-grounds/

Faiz Siddiqui, Naomi Nix, and Will Oremus, “Advertisers fleeing, workers in fear: Welcome to Elon Musk’s Twitter,” Washington Post, November 4, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/11/04/twitter-layoffs-musk/

Shanti Das, “‘Elon Musk doesn’t know what he’s doing’, says former Twitter executive,” Guardian, November 5, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/05/elon-musk-doesnt-know-what-hes-doing-says-former-twitter-executive

Tim Higgins, “Twitter Rolls Out Blue Check Marks for Paying Customers,” Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-rolls-out-blue-check-marks-for-paying-customers-11667681496

Kevin V. Nguyen, “How Musk’s Twitter Layoffs Went Down—And What’s Next,” San Francisco Standard, November 5, 2022, https://sfstandard.com/business/how-musks-twitter-layoffs-went-down-and-whats-next/

Natalie Ching Mun Choy, “Twitter to Ban Impersonation If Not Labeled Parody, Musk Says,” Bloomberg, November 6, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-07/twitter-to-ban-impersonation-if-not-labeled-parody-musk-says

Kurt Wagner, “Twitter Delays Change to Check-Mark Badges Until After Midterms,” Bloomberg, November 6, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-06/twitter-to-delay-changes-to-check-mark-badges-nyt-says

Kurt Wagner and Edward Ludlow, “Twitter Now Asks Some Fired Workers to Please Come Back,” Bloomberg, November 6, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-06/twitter-now-asks-some-fired-workers-to-please-come-back

Stephen Wilmot, “Twitter’s Free Speech Problem Is Tesla’s, Too,” Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitters-free-speech-problem-is-teslas-too-11667818396

  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  2. [2]Ishaan Tharoor, “A Republican winter may be coming for Ukraine,” Washington Post, November 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/07/ukraine-midterms-aid-republican/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “The really, really, really wild wildcards in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Not Housebroken, August 17, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/17/the-really-really-really-wild-wildcards-in-the-2022-and-2024-elections/; David Benfell, “Vladimir Putin’s [T/t]rump card,” Not Housebroken, September 26, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/05/21/vladimir-putins-t-trump-card/; David Benfell, “Spring in November?” Not Housebroken, October 16, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/09/19/spring-in-november/
  4. [4]Ishaan Tharoor, “A Republican winter may be coming for Ukraine,” Washington Post, November 7, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/11/07/ukraine-midterms-aid-republican/
  5. [5]Roane Carey, “Don’t Be a Tankie: How the Left Should Respond to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” Intercept, March 1, 2022, https://theintercept.com/2022/03/01/ukraine-russia-leftists-tankie/
  6. [6]Amy B. Wang, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Marianna Sotomayor, “Liberal Democrats withdraw letter to Biden that urged him to rethink Ukraine strategy,” Washington Post, October 25, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/10/25/democrats-ukraine-letter/
  7. [7]Maggie Haberman, Danny Hakim, and Nick Corasaniti, “How Republicans Are Trying to Use the Green Party to Their Advantage,” New York Times, September 22, 202, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/22/us/politics/green-party-republicans-hawkins.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, October 14, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  9. [9]Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/27/response-rates-in-telephone-surveys-have-resumed-their-decline/; Steven Shepard, “Report: Phone polls aren’t dead yet,” Politico, May 15, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/15/pollsters-phone-polls-238409
  10. [10]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/10/26/elon-musk-barges-into-twitter-headquarters-as-deal-nears/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.