The democratically elected, President of Ukraine, young and heroic, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appeared before a publically, televised, joint session of Congress, on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. In a profoundly impressive and historically significant, statement, he thanked the United States, for its vital, continuing, support of money and armaments to Ukraine, in the latter’s existential defense against Russia’s unprovoked, aggressive war, initiated and orchestrated by its autocratic, “President-for- Life,” Vladymir Putin.
Among his many cogent, remarks, was the sage, (and tactical), observation, that the vital assistance given by America and the Free World, should not be considered in the context of “charity,” but, rather, as a pragmatic and wise, investment in global peace, in halting the aggressive progress of Putin, before it metastasizes, to the stage of a greater (World) war.
The admirable personality and observed, earnest motivation of the young Ukrainian President, in his (English language) delivery of a highly inspirational speech, reminded many, older, Americans of the moving, and effective, wartime speeches of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Moreover, the dynamic character and candid, authenticity of the televised speech, as we came, thoughtfully, to evaluate it, had, in our perception, considerably more of an impact on mainstream America, than, presumably, the speaker’s intended, message of gratitude. It did so, in our view, in two distinct, but significant areas, as referenced, below.
Commencing no later than the time of the populist rise to power of Donald J. Trump, and his surprising elevation to the Oval Office, there developed a noticeable sea-change in the traditional feelings of American National patriotism and implicit gratitude for the good fortune to be born or naturalized, into the status of “citizen” of our free, Democratic Republic. President Trump, personally and neurotically, demonstrated his personal preference for autocracy, as opposed to the Nation’s historic, representative democracy, by denigrating, the universal voting franchise and encouraging its limitation or distortion, denigrating the established media, educational institutions and, most shamefully, and of metaphysical importance, factual truth, in favor of subjectively, altered facts to suit his interest. Our Nation reeled, confusedly, from the bizarrely, unprecedented and undemocratic effects of the corrupt, bigoted and incapable Trump and his plethora of “underbelly,” ardent, supporters.
The clarity and extent of contrast between the Ukrainian President, an avatar of democracy, and one, who has demonstrated a willingness to endanger his own life for the cause of democracy and his Nation, and the autocratic Trump, is immeasurable; the latter has often publically stated, that people, serving in the military are “suckers” and complete “losers.”
In consequence, an unfortunate and long developing, National inclination towards divisiveness, was exponentially, exacerbated, as between mainstream Americans who supported the Nation’s avowed moral compass, historical traditions and aspirational goals, and those who became cultish devotees of the serially, mendacious and ignorant President, whose stated, political and social credo was in accord with his, autocratic intentions. The Nation’s salient divisiveness, irrationally and lamentingly, morphed, so as to be bizarrely, based upon the absurd issue, whether the citizen was, for, or against Trump and his, unprincipled and undemocratic politics.
Such dystopic, “Mad Hatter,” context, resulted, in general, in a species of National amnesia, concerning, America’s historic self-image and eternally dedicated, moral aspirations, toward justice, equality and rectitude. The thick, intense fog of foul air pervading the Nation, emanating from this neurotic and bizarre leader, seemed to maintain much of its repugnancy, and principally stood in urgent need of refreshment and replacement, i.e., a sorely needed reminder of the long-standing, moral character of the historically, revered America.
The first of our observed, virtues, of the Selenskyy speech, is that it had the important salutory, metaphysical, effect of causing America to cut through the contemporarily, noxious Trump fog, and to recall America’s historically, admirable identity. It served as a necessary “wake-up call” and reminder, of who and what, the American Nation is and has been, over the decades. We are grateful to President Selenskyy for this timely, necessary and inspirational, reminder of who we, as Americans, essentially, are.
The second, perceived, notable impact is one of a discreetly different character, and one, despite its relatively, specific, rather than universal, application has great moral and humanistic merit. We were born to immigrant, Jewish parents, as related in several past, written sagas of the 1940s, in Jewish- immigrant populous, East New York, Brooklyn. The newly arrived Americans were only, too well aware of the universally distorted and grossly inaccurate, defamatory stereotype of their ethnic culture, which, albeit distorted and false, nevertheless was all pervasive and ubiquitous.
By example, it is notable, that the great novelist, reformer and social moralist, Charles Dickens, himself, in his early novels, as was common, for Victorian writers, portrayed the fictional Jew, in the timeless, empirically, inaccurate, stereotype, as a long-nosed, be-speckled, sly, money- lender, or merchant, with little to boast of, regarding masculine prowess. For bigots, with little or no contact with the Jewish ethnos, these hateful and degrading, stereotypes were, presumably, deemed factual and critically, representative.
The heroically, masculine, and militarily, fit appearance of the (known Jewish) President of Ukraine, went far, to the extent, relevant and needed, in dispelling the eternal, ignorant and distasteful, false, Jewish stereotypes, and to rationally, affirm the empirical, principle that Jews are not stereotypic, but resemble Man, in all his born, natural nuance. President Biden, thoughtfully, and generously, remarked, (if relevant), that it was the fourth night of Hanukah, commemorating the ancient Hebrew victory over tyranny.
In further and objective confirmation, of this second feature, it is especially, relevant, that President Volodymyr Zelendkyy, in fact, was, democratically, elected, by the votes of many millions of gentile, Ukrainian voters; said Nation, often perceived by many Eastern European immigrants, in current history, as universally, and dedicatedly, anti-Semitic).