The livestreamed speech to Congress delivered by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week set up a stark contrast in leadership.
On the screen was the Ukrainian actor-turned-politician who has inspired his country and the world with courageous, defiant leadership in the face of a massive Russian invasion aimed at his overthrow and assassination. Zelenskyy is being hailed as a 21st century Winston Churchill.
In the audience were many Republican senators and House members, politicians-turned-jellyfish, who have shamed themselves and their party with their prevaricating, cowardly obeisance to Donald Trump and his mendacious assault on American democracy. They are being condemned as 21st century quislings.
Zelenskyy has reason to fear, beginning with missiles and bombs raining down on his capital city, yet he stands resolute. Republicans in Congress — apart from a few brave truth-tellers, such as Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler — are such timorous sissies that they would rather perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie than risk facing a primary challenge from one of the twice-impeached ex-president’s minions.
In the global struggle to defend democracy, perhaps Zelenskyy looks larger-than-life to Americans because so many of our own political figures look so very small.
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