Lessons From Ukraine

Published: February 24, 2023

By Jim Lichtman
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BBC News

Think about this.

Because of Putin’s war against Ukraine, millions of Ukrainian men, women, and children are enduring the harshest conditions imaginable: nightly bombing; an absence of light, heat and water. Ukraine’s health system cannot keep up with the sick and injured. Schools have closed in much of the country. Despite help from European and Western allies, life in Ukraine remains a day-to-day battle.

And yet, one year into the war, Ukrainian men and women continue to stand against an aggressor with immense resources who has failed in his attempt to force the good citizens of Ukraine to submit to Russian rule or leave their homes.

One Ukrainian woman, who fled to her daughter’s home after her town had been bombed, told 60 Minutes journalist Scott Pelley that after several months, she decided to go home. She remains the only person in her home and street where she lives.


Out of principle, she said.

“Her principle,” Pelley emphasized ” is defiance.”

And Ukrainians remain unified in their defiance of Russian invaders.

Unlike America’s two-party political system, Ukraine has multiple parties making it difficult for one party to control the country. Political parties must cooperate in order to make the best decisions for all Ukrainians.

Now, let’s take a look at the freest, richest, most advanced, and most diverse country on the planet.

Two parties battle over control of the belief system of nearly half the country led by a group of representatives who bully and threaten the moderate members of their party.

America has endured a massive Civil War, two World Wars, conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, a dust bowl that left millions hungry and homeless, a stock market crash that brought its economy to its knees and left us fearful of what would come next, and yet . . .  our defiance, determination, and inspiration from political leaders at the time turned our fear into faith, chaos into coherence and restored our confidence in our republic.

Think about this.

Beaten down by harsh conditions, destruction, and death, Ukrainians remain resolute in driving a dictator’s army out of their country so they can live in peace.

America continues to be beaten down by a crisis of its own making aided by a group of Representatives who have traded duty for deceit.

“There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies,” 20th-century journalist and political commentator Walter Lippmann wrote.

I don’t doubt that Ukrainians have internal issues, but at this moment, they are demonstrating more courage and commitment to each other and their country than we are.

What are the lessons from the Ukrainian people?

Courage counts. Strength endures. Persistence achieves.

For America, those qualities are only effective if we unite around our values and virtues: the rule of law; the consent of the governed; integrity over self-deception; responsibility over recklessness, and respect over intolerance.

Who in America would stand against these principles?


  1. I hope you and I can show integrity, responsibility and respect!

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