Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Why don’t Americans care about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

In the face of a potential World War III, Americans are uninterested
McKenna Premus / Daily Collegian

Even as an undergraduate student attending classes everyday educating yourself, there’s a good chance that you don’t fully understand (or care) about the new political conflicts unraveling in Ukraine and Russia. The truth is, most people have been turning a blind eye to these huge geopolitical events, in search of something that serves them better.

Undergraduate students aren’t alone. Patriotism for the United States is a dwindling force. With a mere 41 percent public approval rating, President Biden finds himself in a not-so-unique position: America hates him. In fact, this has become a ubiquitous phenomenon. Nine years ago, during Obama’s presidency, Pew Research concluded that “support for global engagement” is slipping. This culture of being overly critical towards political figures is a new outlook, especially considering this country was built off extreme patriotism. The American population has become the poster child of not caring about its government’s activities. When did this decline of patriotism start? And what does that mean for new political engagements as the United States has started to entangle itself in a new geopolitical conflict?

The decline of patriotism likely originates from extreme divisions in our country’s political sphere. In fact, loving America has become a contentious political topic, only exacerbating the careless attitude that is seen in many Americans. According to National Review, a conservative publication, “Some are still so outraged that 62 million Americans voted for Donald Trump that they now view our country as an irredeemably tarnished place.” Patriotism has become contingent on political support of one’s own party, as opposed to the pervasive support seen in previous generations regardless of political party. This could become problematic for President Biden, and for future presidents in mobilizing political affairs.

Explaining the severity of the disagreement taking place in Ukraine and Russia would take a lot longer than a measly opinion piece. It’s important to note, however, that the tension dates back to 2013 and has caused the death of thousands in a power struggle. For more information on the conflict, look to this article that summarizes the issue simply yet impactfully. The baseline is: this conflict has the potential to start a world war as more and more countries become roped in — a war that the United States is not ready to partake in, despite its strong geopolitical standing on the issue.

The reality is, wars rely on public support. While presidents have some power to entertain global affairs, Congress is the real power player when it comes to long-term engagements, which is reliant on the people’s support. Except, this time around, public support is as low as ever, and most Americans don’t even know about the conflict engaging in Ukraine and Russia at all. This is despite president Biden planning on deploying thousands of troops to Northern Europe to deter the conflict. If President Biden seriously plans on engaging in military conflicts, he really needs to work on his public support.

I’m a college student, and while this potential war enrages, I must admit I’ve been attending my classes everyday worry-free. From my perspective, the White House hasn’t tried to mobilize public support or even educate its populous on why these conflicts are unraveling, and the American population has begun to not care at all. Thus, while I go to classes, I have no incentive to educate myself on these global issues and support the country I live in. Coupling this with the fact that Biden wants to run for reelection in 2024, something needs to change.

If the United States continues to put itself into precarious positions without public support, it could start an internal battle. To amend this burning building, America must douse the fire with political transparency. If public support is not amended, this political engagement will become another ticking time bomb that will explode Biden’s chance for reelection. More importantly, one that will hasten the political divides of our country and further deprecate support for American politics.

Conor Johnston can be reached at [email protected].

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  • ІХ from COJun 27, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    It’s a shame that most of general public doesn’t give a f*ck about Ukraine. I would say support was strong during the first months of Russia’s war in Ukraine, but support is quickly dropping now. What a travesty. And the western media is quickly losing interest in covering the war; what a disservice. Especially now with Roe V Wade….no more coverage all of a sudden

    Unfortunately, it seems that the only Americans who continue to show upmost support to Ukraine are the Ukrainian diaspora in the US or Americans with Ukrainian family (I fall in this category).

    By the tone of your article, you admit that russia’s war in Ukraine doesn’t affect you, which translates to your lack of support. What a shame. There are so many lesson’s to draw from russia’s terrorism that can teach university students about the real world and geopolitics, but the educators would rather teach about BLM, Me Too, and neo-pronouns. You get my point…

    Why don’t you be the catalyst for change in your college? You wrote a brief article about the war, so why don’t you care more?

    Слава Україні

    – a concern citizen from Colorado