Journalist E. J Dionne recently wrote in a Washington Post article that “…Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reminded us of how puny and recklessly trivial our nation’s debate has become.”

There it is in plain English. The United States has reached a new low in its ability to see through the superficial and address issues of substance.

But it’s worse than that. We seem to have reached the point where we have virtually lost our minds, what with calls from members of Congress and a few former military leaders insisting President Biden do what Ukrainian President Zelensky is asking him to do – enforce a no-fly zone.

Stepping outside the uncritical adoration the world seems to have for Zelensky, I suggest there were times in his speech to Congress this morning when he sounded more like a comedian making a bad joke than a world leader.

He dared to tell our President to be the leader of peace by taking actions that risk starting WW III.

It doesn’t get any more arrogant or foolish than that.

What he said was the epitome of being recklessly trivial, missing the opportunity to demonstrate he understands that the U. S. and NATO are already helping him in every way possible short of risking a nuclear war.

The fact that some members of our own Congress support the Ukrainian President rather than their own shows how much trouble our own democracy is in.

No one questions Zelensky’s courage and leadership for his people. He is proving to be the man for the job, but that doesn’t make his judgment flawless or his cry for help any less desperate or more wise.

His analogies with Pearl Harbor and 9/11 made for a good sound bite, but they were inappropriate in every way. The reason is that neither happened because of the actions of a nation in possession of nuclear weapons that can destroy the world – literally.

That is not a small difference. It is a world saving difference. Had Japan possessed nuclear weapons at Pearl Harbor or Osama bin Laden on 9/11, we would not be having this conversation.

It was in fact our own nuclear weapons rather than Germany’s surrender that forced Japan to acknowledge defeat. It was the absence of the 9/11 terrorists having nuclear weapons that prevented them from causing a catastrophic loss of life here at home.

The doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is how the world survived the Cold War. Apparently Zelensky and members of Congress who support him aren’t old enough to know that.

Thank God President Biden and our military leaders are.

The idea that the Biden administration is not doing everything in its power in consultation with our European allies to help Ukraine is nothing more than dangerous political theater.

No one but them knows what is happening behind the scenes, but there was a time when we were the kind of nation that trusted our leaders to be able to protect our security interests and help our friends.

That day is apparently gone now. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine may have exposed just how puny and recklessly trivial our public debate has come, but we seem to have become so accustomed to it that we don’t know when to stop.

There is no shortage of politicians, commentators, and former military leaders who are convinced President Zelensky is right in wanting the U. S. and NATO to get directly involved in the war and President Biden and NATO are wrong in saying no.

Yet, when asked what happens if Putin responds with an attack on U.S. and NATO forces, their only answer is, “I don’t believe he will.”

How convenient.

The real question for these people is, “What if you’re wrong?” but that’s not a question they or Zelensky have to worry about.

President Biden does.

The fact that he does worry about it is why we can trust he knows exactly what being a leader of peace actually means, and that is why he is the leader the free world needs at this moment.