How does Conservatism apply to the Russia/Ukraine situation?
Nowadays “Conservatism” applies to Ukraine/Russia in the following way: Ignore the grey areas. Paint Putin as a thug but a virile, manly thug. Paint Obama as a pussy who doesn’t understand the real world.
It doesn’t matter that “conservatism” is nominally against Putin as much as his masculine grasp of realpolitik is heavily construed as a school yard threat to nerd Obama. This appeals to the high-school mentality of the current “conservative” base and is, thus, more important than default support for an American President. The fact that military provocation of Russia would be pretty much mindless, and that no “conservative” would be doing anything different also is of no consequence.
Questions and analysis of the situation are also of no consequence. Rather, the immediacy of the above narrative is to be slathered on top of the situation like syrup over hot pancakes, which should be clear from the ubiquity of talking points already delivered on talk radio.
Friedrich Schiller had already argued in 1795 that it was precisely in play that we find the origins of self-consciousness, and hence freedom, and hence morality. ‘Man plays only when he is in the full sense of the word a man,’ Schiller wrote in his On the Aesthetic Education of Man, ‘and he is only wholly a Man when he is playing.’ If so…then glimmers of freedom, or even of moral life, begin to appear everywhere around us."