Mike Atherton’s “Thank a Democrat” series focuses on the ways Democrats work to improve the lives of the American people. Elected Democrats have consistently supported NATO and in June President Biden participated in NATO’s Brussels Summit. The organization will play a stabilizing role in resolving tensions with Russia.
Putin lusts for empire. NATO is the ONLY thing stopping him. Without NATO Russian troops would sweep past Crimea and eastern Ukraine to conquer eastern Europe and then to threaten western Europe. Democrats have supported NATO from the very start in 1949 as a force to counter Russia, while Republicans with their go-it-alone belief have been, at best, ambivalent toward it. NATO may seem far from our home towns; nevertheless, Russians themselves would quickly show us how important eastern Europe is to us if these countries again fall behind the Iron Curtain.
Unhindered by NATO, Russian invaders would muzzle free speech. Then they would systematically steel natural resources, redirect trade, and manipulate the media making all communications from over twenty countries mere substations of Russian propaganda.
NATO has stopped this nightmare from happening since its birth in Washington under the leadership of Harry Truman. NATO War “Games” remind Moscow on a regular basis of the high cost of invasion. NATO does more than just rattle sabers in Putin’s face. It serves as the central organization during natural disasters throughout eastern Europe and beyond. NATO combats sex trafficking, drugs, and organized crime because these weaken the Alliance.
The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) marks the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, tensions remain. Note the present demand that Russia stop sponsoring not only cyber-terrorism but also, its proven election interference in the U.S.A. and Europe. Putin craves the spotlight, but we should not give him free air time to proclaim his innocence. We should see his international election interference as a series of invasions, not business as usual. A free hand in Europe gives Russia a free hand against us. Therefore, we are safer today because the sustained actions of NATO constantly tie Russia’s hands.
Democrat administrations working together with a Democrat Congresses helped build NATO to the strength, reliability, and adaptability it possesses today. Their “Cooperation for Prosperity” campaign has paid off with shared growth in science, commerce, and travel. If NATO-based security, general prosperity, and safety for us seem good to you, then Thank a Democrat.
About the author:
John Michael Atherton (Mike) has retired from 30 years of teaching philosophy after 20 years of teaching a variety of subjects from elementary to graduate school. Four years in the Peace Corps in Swaziland (now Eswatini), followed by marriage, first child, and PhD all at the University of Chicago. The family moved to Southwest Pennsylvania where wife Cynthia Walter taught ecology and he taught philosophy while they raised two daughters. They moved to Dover in 2019 to be near their two grandsons in Maine. He has consistently found the Dems to be a group that publicly and privately follows their stated values: compassion, honesty, integrity, respect the dignity of all people, expanded freedom, responsible citizenship, promoting civil society, and protecting our environment.