The Problem With Basically Every Tweet About Ukraine
Russia's invasion demonstrates the limits of your tweets.
Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in an outrageous violation of international law. It is wholly indefensible and everyone who has tried to defend it sounds ridiculous. The United States and the EU should do everything practically possible to support Ukraine and stop Russia from its current course of action and deter it from doing other things like it in the future.
You probably agree with everything I just wrote because you’re smart and good-looking and reasonable.
You probably also agree with the “practical” limitation. We’re not going to go to war with Russia. Russia has a zillion ICBMs and any conventional engagement risks spiraling into nuclear war. But we should do what we can, which means giving Ukraine aid, helping with refugees, and sanctioning Russia.
These are my beliefs and so today I woke up and saw the increasingly bloody news and thought: what can I do?
The answer is basically nothing.
That’s not true of everyone! It’s not true if you have different beliefs about this situation. It’s also not true if you live in Germany, maybe. It’s not true if you are in some specific seat of power and influence. But if you’re a normal American with this set of views on this issue, there is not much for you to do.
The position that I have outlined (sanctions and aid and humanitarian support) is the position of the United States government. The President and both parties in Congress support this. They are working on what the details of those sanctions and that aid and those efforts look like. I am not an expert in those fields and am in absolutely no position to feel strongly about the details.
If you are an American who holds different beliefs—which is to say, you either think we shouldn’t sanction Russia or that we should go to war with Russia—then you are in a somewhat different boat. You can write a letter. You can hold a rally. You can call your congressperson. I don’t think you have very good chances of accomplishing anything, but I am perfectly happy about that since I think those positions are bad. I hold the right Goldilocks opinion, it is shared by the majority of my fellow Americans, and my government. As far as the US side of this situation is concerned, everything is working as it should.
But that feels wrong because, of course, the tragedy is still unfolding. It feels weird to sort of accept the helplessness.