Matt Dolan is out with a new op-ed this morning in the Akron Beacon Journal, where he discusses the vital importance of providing military resources and humanitarian aid to bolster Ukraine’s self-defense. In addition to saying that a projection of American weakness invites further aggression, he also disputes the notion espoused by J.D. Vance that we should not care about Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unwarranted war of aggression against the Ukrainian people.
The ongoing invasion of Ukraine is a premeditated and unjustified act of war by Vladimir Putin against a free people and sovereign nation. The free people of Ukraine have literally dug in and taken up arms to defend their sovereignty, and they must know the United States and freedom loving people around the world have their back. We pray for them, we march for them, and we support their self-defense. Nowhere is this more evident than right here, in Ohio.
Having recently attended prayer services and rallies in support of the people of Ukraine, I witnessed firsthand the strong sense of solidarity that exists between local residents and the people of Ukraine. Marta Liscynesky-Kelleher, president of the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio, along with the Rev. Michael Hontaruk, assembled congregants and leaders from across Ohio in Parma to kneel in prayer and stand in support of freedom.
During the service, “Father Mike” conveyed the harsh reality by saying, “Putin wants to return Ukraine to go back to what it was as a Soviet republic. He doesn’t just want to destroy our Ukrainian land … he is seeking to destroy our faith, our language, our traditions and our culture.” The misguided and shameful notion that we, as Ohioans and Americans, shouldn’t care about what happens in Ukraine is wrong. It’s also why we must act.
Here in Ohio, steps have been taken to restrict the sale of Russian produced goods from retail locations. In the legislature, Democrats and Republicans also came together to unanimously pass resolutions affirming support for the Ukrainian people condemning the unprovoked invasion of a peaceful country. We also created the Office and Commission on Eastern European Affairs to serve as an official conduit between state government, residents with ancestral ties to the region, and a growing number of Ukrainian refugees.
US should send arms, aid to Ukrainian people
At the national level, our government should continue to send arms and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people to enhance their ability to repel Russian invaders. Simultaneously, we should work in concert with our allies in implementing harsh economic sanctions on Vladimir Putin, Russian oligarchs, and high-ranking members of his regime. Russian diplomats and international business interests should be expelled and isolated from global institutions, and the U.S. should further commit ourselves to the expansion and modernization of our own national defense both militarily and economically to send a message to China and other bad actors that we will not hesitate to provide defensive supplies and weaponry to other stable democracies.
This moment should also be a wakeup call to partisan politicians who seek to restrict domestic oil and gas development that energy security is an indispensable tool in the fight for democracy. These actions will further restrict Russia’s already struggling economy and send a message to land-grabbing war criminals like Putin of the kind of costs that will inevitably be paid when they invade sovereign neighbors seeking to redraw borders.
Some will say these steps are akin to “beating the drums of war.” It’s nothing of the sort. When the sovereign freedom of one democratic nation is threatened, wherever they may be in the world, democracy everywhere is challenged. History has shown that we can be strong at home and defend freedom in the world. The only question is how we respond. The lackluster response from the United States and broader world community to Putin’s previous invasions of Georgia and Crimea projected weakness. Questionable international resolve at the present moment will similarly invite further aggression from other authoritarian regimes, including the Chinese Communist Party.
Why Ohioans are doing their part
America is, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the last best hope of earth.” We stand for freedom. While we are not the world’s policeman, we must do what we reasonably can to support democracy and defend it against the rising tide of thuggish authoritarians. Ohioans are acting because we recognize that our people and economic prosperity are tied to the outcome of this conflict. We should all pay heed to the words of Father Mike which accurately describe what is at stake. We should all continue to do our part.
Matt Dolan is a Republican state senator from Chagrin Falls and candidate for U.S. Senate.
Read online HERE.
Below are additional op-eds written by Dolan as he remains the only candidate with a laser focus on the issues important to Ohio.
- Cincinnati Enquirer: Opinion: US Senate race as much about the past as it is our future
- Cincinnati Enquirer: Opinion: America engaged in new cold war with China
- Columbus Dispatch: Matt Dolan: Biden’s awful energy policy handing big win to Putin, Russian oligarchs
- Marietta Times: The Four Questions I Ask When Considering Public Service
- The Lima News: Matt Dolan: Opioid crisis needs our full attention