On Ukraine

Free countries are redoubling their defense of democracy following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Americans have a special responsibility in this effort.

As we continue to bear witness to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we know that words can’t do justice to what is happening there. And like nearly all Americans, we continue to feel varying levels of dismay, anger, frustration, and fear as the crisis unfolds. There are so many questions in the wake of this unjustified aggression. We’re not going to have answers to any of them. 
Except one: Why should I care?
In the days leading up to Russia’s attack, amid the looming threat of death and massive human suffering, we found this question to be disturbingly common and often-repeated in the United States. One week later, Ukrainians have provided the answer: Democracy is precious and exceptional, and it is worth fighting and dying for.
As they confront the Russian military, Ukrainians have become a catalyst for the world’s democracies – who, after years of backsliding and indifference, are reaffirming their commitment to democratic ideals around the world. This gives us profound hope that the global tide has turned. The sight of Ukrainians leaving their normal lives to literally defend their way of life has been humbling and inspiring, and it compels us to recognize that a defense of democracy anywhere is a defense of democracy everywhere.
As free countries redouble their commitments, we believe Americans have a special responsibility in this effort. It is too easy to take our own freedoms for granted, too easy to forget how precious and exceptional they truly are, and too easy to lose sight of how America serves as an example to the rest of the world. Democracies don’t build themselves, and so that’s why we do what we do. It’s why Civic Nebraska believes that all of us play a necessary role in building a strong democracy – here at home and, as a consequence, around the world.
We know that democracy is not something we can just casually discard because it’s messy or difficult, or because it takes work to refine and improve. Today, we need only to look east for a reminder of this. Now, let’s all work to ensure that such stark reminders won’t be necessary in the future.  
Adam Morfeld
Executive Director
Civic Nebraska

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