It is fashionable in the midst of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine to call for bans on all things Russian, even including individuals. Such actions may be with the best of intentions, but one must be careful not to trample on liberty while trying to protect it.
Today’s column in Common Sense by Bari Weiss, Things Worth Fighting For – What we can learn from President Zelensky – cites several such examples.
“Russia House, a restaurant in Washington, D.C. near Dupont Circle, was vandalized more than once—its windows were broken, and its door smashed in.
“In Vancouver, St. Sophia’s Orthodox Church had red paint thrown on the front doors.
“The Montreal Symphony canceled a performance by the Russian virtuoso Alexander Malofeev. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Opera dropped one of its most celebrated sopranos and replaced the Russian singer with a Ukrainian. And a Formula 1 racing team fired the Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.
“The Paralympics Games—these are games for handicapped people—banned Russians from participating. In the United Kingdom, a planned tour of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia was canceled.
“Oh, and let’s not forget the cats: The International Cat Federation has banned Russian felines. Seriously.”
Weiss writes that this mob mentality “cuts against the most foundational principle of liberal democracy: individual liberty.”
She says one of the core lessons of what’s happening in Ukraine is that fighting for noble causes matters. That’s the setup for what she says are the things worth fighting for: individual liberty, America, and civilization.
Her essay reminds us of why we do what we do at Kansas Policy Institute, The Sentinel, and Kansas Justice Institute. Please take a few minutes to read her eloquent call to defend “the home front of the free world.”