Ukraine’s lessons about democracy

To be an American is not about place, race or heritage. It is about knowing that freedom and rights are God-given gifts that we dare not take for granted and that we must always fight to preserve and expand. It is to believe that all men and women are created equal, and that free people can do remarkable things, individually and collectively.

The valiant men and women of Ukraine are bravely reminding us of what is important and how high the stakes are — and what the price can be — when fighting tyranny and organized evil.

Pregnant women are huddled with their young children in basements to avoid the cruel and vicious attack led by Putin, a true war criminal. Brave Ukrainian soldiers are fighting a massive war machine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is standing strong and proud against overwhelming power.

The people of Ukraine are teaching us now, through their blood, sweat and tears, what we in this country need to relearn and rededicate ourselves to. Freedom and democracy take great work and sacrifice and commitment to the truth, and all of that extraordinary effort is very much worth it.

Democracy in America is being subverted by those who want to make it more difficult for struggling Americans to vote. Our democracy is at risk from those who want to mislead the people about the integrity of our current election process and politicize it for their gain.

How grand it will be when we have enough leaders in America to defend and expand our democracy with the same fortitude and resolve that Ukrainians are showing now.

Todd Otis

(Clean Elections Board Co-Chair)

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