When I logged onto Twitter this morning, I saw the New York Times’ story about Russia launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Just below that story was a tweet by you, some guy, sharing your thoughts on the attack. And I just want to say thank you.
At first glance, it seemed to me like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a complex geopolitical conflict, and that the United States’ involvement, or lack thereof, could have enormous implications for shaping global politics for the next several decades. But as you have pointed out, the proper course of action really boils down to a basic moralistic argument, and any ramifications of taking your suggested stance are ultimately immaterial. I had no idea how to feel about this crisis until you, a stranger on the internet who took a semester of European history in college, chimed in with your incredibly simplistic breakdown of the situation.
It was cool how you found a Henry Kissinger quote that was taken wildly out of context and applied it to this scenario that’s taking place decades later. As I tried to wrap my head around what could be the beginning of an ugly chapter in human history, I thought to myself, “You know who I’d like to hear from right now? Henry Kissinger.” After all, I love thinking about Henry Kissinger. I love talking about Henry Kissinger. And I love being reminded that Henry Kissinger exists, then looking him up on Wikipedia and realizing that he’s alive and well. I wish every morning started with a bit more Henry Kissinger.
Another helpful thing is seeing the jokes you’ve posted about Ukraine, like the Tom and Jerry meme where Jerry smacks Spike the bulldog with a two-by-four and then hands the two-by-four to Tom so that Spike thinks Tom did it and mauls him. You astutely pointed out that, in this unfolding war, NATO is Jerry, Tom is Ukraine, and Spike is Russia. It’s really funny when you realize that Tom actually represents millions of people in a sovereign nation whose lives are at risk. I can’t think of a better way to depict human suffering on a massive scale than by turning it into a three-panel Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
Some people have thoughts, understand they don’t know much about the subject, and decide to keep those thoughts to themselves. But you dare to be different. Midway through the pandemic, you, an accountant with zero background in public health, questioned the need for mask mandates because, in your anecdotal experience, things didn’t seem that bad. During the George Floyd protests, you pointed out that the police ruthlessly beating protestors probably had a good reason to, even though you didn’t attend any protests. And during the January 6th insurrection, you speculated that Nancy Pelosi might’ve orchestrated it herself because it just seemed like the kind of thing she would do.
What the world needs are more people like you. People who aren’t afraid to speak up just because they have no idea what they’re talking about. Think of all of the global problems we could tackle if we just listened to the uninformed opinions of randos. We’d finally stop caring about climate change. We’d realize that letting trans folks transition is a slippery slope to people marrying toasters. And we’d finally stop all those kids from being kidnapped and eaten by Democrats.
I bet we could solve the Israel-Palestine conflict in a day if we all hopped on Twitter and just hashed it out.
So please, person who believes “thinking for themselves” means trusting a screenshot of a Facebook post their cousin sent them, keep those hot takes coming. As this latest global horror unfolds and the world anxiously searches for answers, we are counting on your half-baked musings and off-the-cuff remarks to drown out intelligent and informed conversation. The only way we’ll get through this together is if we all do our own research, and come to wildly differing conclusions.