The One Man Making the GOP Want a Sane Ukraine Policy

The Ukraine war rages on with no end in sight, but the political establishment doesn’t seem to mind. The elites want to fight to the last Ukrainian rather than make peace. 

But a growing number of Republicans have had enough. A new poll found that nearly half of Republican voters think America is spending too much money on Ukraine.  Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the man most likely to be the next speaker of the House, says the “blank check” America gave Ukraine may be re-examined when the new Congress meets in January. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene promised Ukraine wouldn’t receive “another penny” from taxpayers when Republicans take the majority. Donald Trump wants Ukraine and Russia to engage in peace talks—an idea that appears to be anathema to the Biden Administration. 

This change is a massive win for America First policies—and it’s largely due to one man: Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Every other major political anchor is a devoted Ukraine fan who will gladly peddle such lies as the Ghost of Kyiv. Tucker is different. He presents stories about the conflict you won’t find anywhere else in American media. Tucker is also insistent on presenting the incredible cost of the war to the American public.

In May, America had given $54 billion in aid to Ukraine. That number has grown by additional billions since then. This astronomical cost comes at a time when the national debt stands at $31 trillion, and the country faces a severe recession. But the politicians believe it’s more important to underwrite another endless war that lines the pockets of their donors than to devote America’s resources to our own people.

The war doesn’t just come at a great cost for American taxpayers. It also contributes to 

inflation, food scarcity, and a global energy crisis. It also has the potential to escalate into a nuclear conflict. All of these terrible things are the result of liberal elites wanting to score points against Vladimir Putin rather than fix our own problems. Tucker repeatedly brings up these issues to his national audience.

The Fox News host also exposes the massive corruption and authoritarianism of the Ukrainian government. Tucker notes that much of the money and weaponry we send to Ukraine goes missing when it arrives. He says America now has to subsidize Ukraine’s budget deficit when we can’t pay off our own. And he presents the suppression of democratic freedoms in Ukraine, such as the outlawing of opposition parties and the arrests of political dissidents. 

Without Tucker, the message to the GOP base would be that we need to prolong the Ukraine war as long as possible. Compare Tucker’s pro-peace message to that of his fellow Fox News hosts. Sean Hannity has called for escalations in the conflict. In March, he urged NATO to bomb Russian convoys, which would obviously bring America and its allies directly into the war. Hannity also admonished Tulsi Gabbard over her failure to support unlimited funding to Ukraine. This is the man whose program follows Tucker Carlson’s every night.

Mark Levin is another prominent conservative who promotes a hawkish line on Ukraine. In April, he attacked the Biden Administration for not doing enough for Ukraine. He claimed the nation will look back with shame at how Biden allegedly allowed innocent women and children to be killed by the Russians. In the same rant, he went on to attack the “Putin wing of the Republican Party.” “I am sick and tired of the Putin wing of media, the Putin wing of the Republican Party, the Putin wing of the Democrat Party, I am sick of them,” Levin said. “They have been lying for weeks if not months. I’m tired of isolationists and those that say, ‘what do you want to do, drag us into a war?’ Did you not see the pictures? There is a war going on. World War III has begun.”

Levin’s position was common among many Republicans and conservatives early on in the war. Many Republicans and conservatives attacked Biden for being “weak” and not doing enough to aid Ukraine. Now they’re sounding more like Tucker Carlson. 

If Carlson wasn’t the most popular name in conservative media, hawks like Hannity and Levin would set the tone for the GOP. Instead of Republicans wanting to end Ukraine’s blank check, we’d have the whole party demanding a no-fly zone and NATO bombing runs. The hawkishness would make Democrat warmongers look like doves. 

Thankfully, the most popular cable news host advocates for sanity and non-interventionist principles. Tucker held strong instead of making cheap attacks on Biden for being “weak” on Russia. Tucker’s stance is not that of the GOP foreign policy establishment, which learned nothing from the debacles of Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. Carlson’s position increasingly reflects that of the GOP base. For too long, the base was poorly represented by its leaders in Washington. That changed with the nomination of Donald Trump in 2016 and his election as president. A man who promised to bring the troops home and avoid idiotic entanglements easily won the Republican primary, signaling the base’s alienation from the foreign policy establishment. 

It’s a new era for the Republican Party. No longer do neocons hold a monopoly over the party’s foreign policy. Party leaders now have to listen to Tucker Carlson and the America First base.

About Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford is a Capitol Hill refugee now earning an honest living.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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