A year has passed since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, yet the conflict is still ongoing. According to the German Kiel Institute for the Global Economy, Joe Biden and his administration have provided Ukraine with more than $75 billion in military, financial, and humanitarian help.
Although the United States provides help to other nations, Ukraine has been the leading receiver of U.S. aid since the Truman administration devoted huge sums to reconstructing the continent under the Marshall Plan following World War II.
The crisis began in 2014, when Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in a move heavily denounced by the international world. Since the invasion of 2022, the trajectory of events appears to be one of escalation rather than resolution.
The United States is not the only nation assisting. Since the war began more than a year ago, NATO has handed Ukraine at least $80 billion. Hence, the United States sends nearly as much as thirty other nations combined. This appears disproportionate to others, especially in light of the needs in the United States. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is one of many who have been vocal about the quantity of help leaving the country.
Recent remarks made by Governor DeSantis on the crisis between Ukraine and Russia have generated debate.
Monday during a news conference, DeSantis stated that the situation in Ukraine is “not a matter of vital U.S. concern.” According to the New York Times, DeSantis made it plain on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show that he believes “Biden is doing too much, without a clearly defined aim, and taking moves that risk igniting conflict between the U.S. and Russia.”
“While the U.S. has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis said.
Aligning himself with the opinion voiced by former President Trump, DeSantis noted in the interview, ” We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted,” he said.
DeSantis’ remarks have generated discussion over the United States’ role in the crisis and its need to support its friends. Others have backed the Governor’s position, claiming that the United States should concentrate on its own national interests.
Many have taken notice of the Governor’s remarks, including writer and media personality Geraldo Rivera. Rivera responded to DeSantis on social media, stating, “Disappointed in Gov Ron DeSantis announcing Ukraine is not a vital US interest. Not in US interest to prevent expansionist Russia from invading innocent neighboring countries? Not in our interest to prevent return of the Iron Curtain? In our interest to roll over for Putin?”
Disappointed in Gov Ron DeSantis announcing Ukraine is not a vital US interest.
Not in US interest to prevent expansionist Russia from invading innocent neighboring countries?
Not in our interest to prevent return of the Iron Curtain?
In our interest to roll over for Putin?— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 14, 2023
Biden received criticism for his unexpected journey to Ukraine during the holiday weekend last month instead of being in the United States for President’s Day and delivering a patriotic address commemorating prior presidents, but Rivera hailed Biden’s trip to the combat zone. Rivera tweeted “Bravo” in response to Biden’s display of support for Ukraine and Zelensky in Ukraine and Poland.
In the past, liberal Rivera has not been a fan of conservative DeSantis, most notably criticizing him for his handling of illegal immigration in his home state of Florida. Yet DeSantis consistently receives acclaim from conservatives and won re-election as governor by a landslide in the most recent election.
DeSantis has not launched his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but the media is treating him as if he has. A straw poll conducted at the CPAC convention in Washington, D.C. had Trump in the lead for the nomination with 62% of the vote, followed by DeSantis with 20% of the vote and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley with 3% of the vote.
Trump and DeSantis are both Florida residents and staunch conservatives. According to the Associated Press, both candidates are also listening to religious leaders in their respective states. The clergy’s major goals are education and immigration, which have not only been discussed by both men, but have also been the foundation for their respective actions.
Inside the Republican Party, conservatives are challenging RINOs on issues related to the bottom line, and all candidates will soon have to take a position on one side or the other.