All Hail the Chief (Or Else)

The American Dream can take many forms, and can mean different things to different people. But some people’s stories match the description in uniquely fitting ways. Alexander Vindman is one of those people.

Alexander was three years old when his Jewish family fled Soviet Ukraine. They came with $750 and the hope that life in America would be better than life under communism.

It was better, and Alexander (after graduating from college) as well as his two brothers all chose to serve in the US military. He was awarded the Purple Heart when he was injured in Iraq by a roadside bomb. After his active duty, he served the Army as a foreign area officer—a job he was well-suited for thanks to his master’s degree from Harvard in Russian, Eastern Europe, and Central Asian studies. He has served at our US Embassies in Ukraine and Russia. In 2018 he joined the National Security Council. (Source: New York Times.)

A Jewish refugee from communism, so committed to America that he bled for her, and devoted his career to her, rose through the ranks all the way to the White House. That’s an American Dream life. Who could argue that Alexander Vindman isn’t a patriot?

I’ll give you one guess.

Today, Vindman became the first sitting White House official to testify about Trump’s infamous Ukraine call. Appropriate, since Vindman was actually on the call.

“I was concerned by the call,” Vindman’s opening statement says. “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.” (source: NBC News.)

In fact, Vindman was so concerned by the call that he reported his concerns to the National Security Council’s head attorney—twice.

In normal times, under a normal administration, in a country not diseased with fevered partisanship, we would expect a man like Alexander Vindman to be taken at his word. But these are not normal times, not a normal administration, and we are leprous with fevered partisanship.

So, we get this:

Vindman’s motives are being impugned, despite a complete lack of evidence as to his political leanings.

And this, from recently-retired Republican Congressman Sean Duffy:

On Fox, Laura Ingraham and her guests suggested Vindman might even have been engaged in espionage on behalf of Ukraine.

Got that? The wounded Iraq War vet who has spent his entire adult life serving the United States is actually a traitor secretly advocating for Ukraine, because he lived there as a baby.

This slavish devotion to one man, and the reflexive (and nonsensical) attacks on anyone and everyone who offers the slightest criticism or principled concern over his actions, is not the behavior of people with a functioning value system.

It’s the behavior of a cult.

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