Will You Defend America Against Invasion?
The results of a recent survey say a lot about the politics of those who’ll fight versus those who’ll take flight.
Rarely, as far as we can recall, have the traits of honesty and cowardice been so tellingly conjoined as they were for the pollsters at Quinnipiac, who recently asked Republicans, independents, and Democrats about whether they’d fight or take flight if faced with a situation similar to that of Ukraine.
The results of that revelatory question were buried at the end of the survey, no doubt in shame, and hidden from the headline, which misdirected readers toward less existential matters: “Vast Majority of Americans Say Ban Russian Oil, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Nearly 8 In 10 Support U.S. Military Response If Putin Attacks A NATO Country.” But there it was, down at the very bottom:
As the world witnesses what is happening to Ukraine, Americans were asked what they would do if they were in the same position as Ukrainians are now: stay and fight or leave the country? A majority (55 percent) say they would stay and fight, while 38 percent say they would leave the country. Republicans say 68-25 percent and independents say 57-36 percent they would stay and fight, while Democrats say 52-40 percent they would leave the country.
It’s stunning, isn’t it? A solid majority of Democrats would rather take flight than fight. And we’re not sure which is more remarkable — the Democrats’ cowardice, their ingratitude for all that their native land has given them, or their lack of self-awareness. For the life of us, we can’t think of a single friend who would say, to our face, that he’d rather skedaddle than fight for his country against an invading army.
Orwell, were he around today, might’ve instead said, “Democrats sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough Republican men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
Republican women, too, no doubt. As a 2020 survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found, 40% of new gun owners are women.
According to the Quinnipiac poll, though, there’s overwhelming support — 79% to 14% — for a U.S. military response if Russia goes beyond Ukraine and attacks a NATO country. In fact, 88% of Democrats would support such a response, while only 82% of Republicans would. Clearly, Democrats would rather defend someone else’s country than their own. This strikes us as odd beyond words.
There are many more guns in the U.S. — upwards of 400 million, according to estimates — than there are people. In fact, just 32% of Americans say they personally own a firearm, according to the 2021 National Firearms Survey. But this means that more than 80 million American adults own guns. And when family members who live in the same household as a gun owner are included, that number jumps to 41%. Good luck to an invading force of any size or kind. (Admiral Yamamoto never said there’d be an armed American behind every blade of grass, but he might just as well have.)
A recent Wall Street Journal piece, which reflected on the war in Ukraine, had this to say about the Russian invaders:
They underestimated the tenacity of Ukrainians. The sight on TV and social media of Ukrainian civilians preparing to defend their cities is something to behold. Men with desk jobs are grabbing rifles, and teachers are making Molotov cocktails. This is a lesson in the price of freedom that ought to instruct Westerners offended by “microaggressions.” Real aggression is a tank rolling down your street. … The people of Ukraine are showing a too complacent West what it means to fight for freedom.
Indeed. We Americans could learn a thing or two about complacency. Or at least our left-leaning brethren could.
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