America Take a Lesson from Ukranians Demanding Resignation of Russian-Friendly President

In the most widespread protests since the 2004 “Orange Revolution,” Ukrainian citizens gathered in the city of Kiev to protest their government’s decision to align with Russia instead of Europe in regards to trade and association agreements. What is more interesting is the Ukrainian citizens asking the US White House for support. According to CNS news, the “We the People” petition website, had at “least 11 related to the Ukraine situation” with one petition calling for US visa and financial sanctions against the Ukraine government, which had 126,000 signatures.

The Ukrainian people have decided their government has not followed a plan deemed to be “the surest course” to prosperity and democracy by our own State Department; so, they are calling for resignation of their president, Viktor Yanukovich. These people are so convicted in their belief they are braving the cold by the thousands to stand in Kiev, block government buildings and call on the US for support. The Ukrainian people are truly demonstrating the desire for their government to do what is in the best interest of the citizens, which is not aligning with Russia when it comes to trade and associations.

Demonstrators gather in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, protesting the government’s refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union.
Demonstrators gather in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, protesting the government’s refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union.
In the “Orange Revolution,” Yanokovich was accused of “trying to rig Ukraine’s presidential election, an exercise so marred by ballot-stuffing, intimidation and other problems that the US refused to recognize it and EU member states withdrew their ambassadors in protest.” Supporters of Yanokovich’s opposition took to the streets of Kiev that eventually resulted in their Supreme Court ordering a revote. Needless to say, Yanokovich’s opposition won. But, Yanokovich was elected president in 2010.

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If anyone has paid attention, the situation that has happened in the Ukraine is eerily similar to the situation occurring in the United States. The Ukraine experienced a “rigged” election with incidences of voter intimidation. We saw this in the United States in 2008 and 2012. But, the citizens of the Ukraine rose up in protest regarding the results whereas the people of the United States remained quiet. The Ukrainian government changed its course from going to prosperity and democracy to a course, the people believed, that might result in increased poverty and dictatorship so they have gathered in the streets again demanding the resignation of their elected official. We have witnessed our government change from one of a representative republic upholding freedom and individual rights to one governed by the whims of one man, one party intimidation over the other and the masses along with the erosion of God-given rights and implementation of a surveillance state; yet, we remain silent.

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It is a strange twist of irony that the Ukrainian citizens would request support from this man sitting in our White House when he has done everything in his power to stomp freedoms. It’s interesting the Ukraine would still see the US has a defender of government of the people, by the people and for the people when this administration has done everything to institute “rule by the elite few.” Could it be the Ukrainian people still believe in the US citizenry’s ability to right the course of the ship of freedom?

There is a stark contrast between the Ukraine and the United States that I believe drives their desire to steer their government in the direction of prosperity and freedom. Many people in the Ukraine remember what it is like to live under Communist rule under the USSR. They remember the oppression, the poverty, and the horrors of exercising their God-given rights when those rights were in opposition to the totalitarian regime. Some of these people remember the hunger from too little food and being cold from not having the means to heat their modest dwellings. These are just a few of the “perks” of a “utopian, everyone has the same things” society.

These people remember this and believe an alignment with Russia may diminish their chance of increasing their national, as well as personal, prosperity and the ability to affect change in their government.

Fortunately, the people of the United States have enjoyed an existence based in individual freedom, representative government and the ability to affect change in their government for over 230 years. No one has ever lived under true oppression or the “utopian” rule. There is not a citizen born in this country who has any experience living through what the Ukrainian people endured under USSR communism. Therefore, America has no remembrance of totalitarian or monarchical, dictatorial rule; no one alive born in America has lived through it. Our citizens became complacent, wrapped in the ideology that America will always be free regardless of the “flavor of the month” movement that comes along. Americans began operating with blinders on. We are like a teenager exhibiting the attitude, “it can’t happen to me.”

Well, it has happened in America.

The people of the Ukraine recognize a fact that Americans have forgotten – in order to be free and experience liberty, citizens must affect the direction of their government. It is amazing to watch another country rise up to demand their president’s resignation over an altered trade association when our own citizenry will not even rise up to protest criminal behavior of our president and demand his resignation. Regardless of the weather, employment status or condition of the people, they are willing to brave it all, sacrifice it all, to gather en masse to tell their government “we are not complicit with this and our president must resign.” They are exhibiting the courage and bravery once attributed to the American people.

It will be interesting to hear the Obama response – if he gives one. At this juncture, one has to wonder what kind of response it would be. If he supported the protests, that action would slap the American people in the face; he would support the rights of Ukraine citizens to affect change in their government while doing everything he can to suppress the people here. If he doesn’t support the protests, that action reveals his disdain for any type of government affected by the people. Since it would be hard to “straddle the fence,” it is safe to bet Obama will remain silent as he has remained silent on so many issues facing America. There is no gain for Obama in even reviewing the petition regarding the Ukraine – there is no “race card” to play, no increased division among people to cause, no polarization along every line imaginable to afford any political posturing, and certainly no Muslim jihad to fund. Besides, Obama knows Putin has his number.

It seems Ukrainians have taken their cue from Americans in exercising their rights to affect change in their government. Maybe we here in America need to take the hint from the Ukraine.

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