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In 2024, Pro-Life Means Anti-War

Abortion isn’t on the ballot the same way it was pre-Dobbs, but that doesn’t mean the slaughter of innocents has stopped being a political issue.

Anti-Draft and Anti-War Demonstrator
(Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)

Do you know what’s odd? Thanks to Dobbs, for the first time in fifty years, abortion isn’t a major issue in the Republican primary. It will be especially weird for religious nutjobs like me, who are (or were) single-issue voters. Choosing a candidate used to be easy: Whoever wants to kill the fewest babies would get my support.

Then again, maybe this cycle won’t be so different. If your number-one priority is to prevent the needless slaughter of innocents, just ask yourself one question: Which candidate is most committed to brokering a peace between Russia and Ukraine? In 2024, pro-life means anti-war.


The U.S. government estimates that nearly half a million men and women—both military and civilian—have been killed or wounded since Russia began its “special military operation” last year. I’d say that’s more than enough.

And yet Washington elites are pushing to escalate the war. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently introduced a bill to the Senate urging Ukraine’s admission to NATO. (This is the same Lindsey Graham who called for the assassination of Vladimir Putin last year.) If he gets his way, all of NATO will be obliged to declare war on Russia. 

Russia’s official doctrine is clear: They will only use nukes if the integrity of the Russian state is threatened. Well, Ukraine has already made incursions as far as Belgorod. Washington is also sending money and weapons to Kiev, with the expressed aim of recapturing Crimea

Hopefully these incursions are a bargaining-chip, because Putin will not accept any peace deal in which Russia loses territory. If Zelensky and his NATO pals are serious about seizing territory from Russia, it may well trigger the first nuclear war in history. That really would be the “war to end all wars.”

Some might point out that Graham’s warmongering has been condemned by leaders of both parties, including President Biden. They might argue that the foreign-policy establishment is taking a more moderate line on Ukraine. Yet bear in mind that Graham is, and always has been, a stalking horse. He is bought and paid for by defense contractors. Every once in a while, they’ll trot him out to make some insanely belligerent statement, in the hopes of making “moderate” war hawks like President Biden look more, well, moderate. But Graham will not utter a single syllable that hasn’t been preapproved by the military-industrial complex. 


So, if you want to know what Washington elites really think about foreign affairs, listen to Lindsey. And they’re making themselves clear. They would do to Russia what they did to Iraq. They want to invade Russia, kill Putin, and install a pro-Western puppet in his place. They’re willing to risk hundreds of millions of lives to achieve that goal. Hell, they’re willing to risk the total annihilation of all life on earth. 

The truly pro-life voter, then, isn’t just anti-war. He’s anti-establishment. 

Put it this way. Remember when, in 2012, a hot mic caught President Barack Obama telling Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev that “after my election I have more flexibility” in some unknown negotiation with Moscow? It’s entirely possible that Joe Biden is playing the same game with Kiev. He may be striking a centrist pose, now that support for Ukraine is declining; if he’s reelected, that mask will drop in the blink of an eye.

And the same might be said for Biden’s rivals in the GOP. Only one in three Republicans wish to maintain or increase U.S. support for Ukraine. That would explain why the two leading candidates—Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis—have both taken dovish positions on the war. Both have declared that the United States should use its power and influence, not to fuel Ukraine’s war machine, but to broker a peace between Putin and Zelensky.

The question is, Will they follow through?

Trump, for one, has an excellent rapport with Putin. In fact, he raised eyebrows last year for saying that Russia’s invasion was “genius,” and praised Putin as “savvy” for supporting an independent Donbas. Most tellingly of all, perhaps, is the fact that Zelensky is openly hostile to Trump’s foreign-policy agenda.

And yet Trump is also famously impressionable when it comes to foreign policy matters. After running as a noninterventionist in 2016, he surrounded himself with neoconservatives like John Bolton and Nikki Haley. Specifically, Trump promised not to involve the United States in the Syrian civil war, but then launched 59 cruise missiles at Syrian air force base at the behest of his daughter, Ivanka.

And let’s not forget: Trump also got along pretty well with Zelensky. As a matter of fact, they got into some shady deals together. In 2019, Congress passed a $400 million aid package to Ukraine; Trump then told Zelensky he would authorize the payment only if he (Zelensky) would give him (Trump) the dirt on Hunter Biden’s gig with Burisma.

So, has Trump learned from his mistakes? Or will he once again fill his cabinet with veteran hacks who despise him and everything he stands for? Will he rekindle his old friendship with Putin? Or will he, too, succumb to Zelensky’s charms? Frankly, it’s anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, DeSantis has earned his reputation as a “conviction politician.” We can trust him to keep his word on Ukraine, right? Maybe—or maybe not.

For one thing, DeSantis’s “outsider” status is a load of rubbish. You don’t get to be Governor of Florida without greasing a huge political machine. He also has zero foreign-policy background. Put the two together, and DeSantis is likely to follow the same path as Trump in 2016. He’ll focus on one or two signature issues (in Ron’s case, fighting wokism) while outsourcing pretty much everything else to the Washington establishment. 

This seems likely, given how quickly DeSantis walked back his claim that the Russo–Ukrainian war is a “territorial dispute.” He also condemned Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014, while conceding that “there’s a lot of ethnic Russians there.” As a matter of fact, the Crimea is about 75 percent Russian. That might explain why Crimeans themselves consistently and overwhelmingly support joining the Russian Federation.

That’s a relatively minor point, but it shows how little DeSantis understands the situation. It also shows how timid he becomes once he leaves his comfort zone. 

Who else is there? Tim Scott and Mike Pence are both confirmed hawks. So, of course, is Nikki Haley. 

Then there’s Vivek Ramaswamy.

In many ways, Ramaswamy is the ideal candidate. Like Trump, he has more money than God, which makes him independent-minded. Unlike Trump, he’s a self-made man; he’s worth $630 million, and he earned every penny. That speaks to his competence, especially as a hirer-and-firer—skills that Trump definitely lacks. I can’t see him getting swept away in Bolton’s moustache or succumbing to Graham’s feminine wiles.

Ramaswamy also has a much better grasp of the facts than either Trump or DeSantis. He recognizes that U.S. hostility towards Russia is driving Putin into China’s arms. He would seek to secure a “Korean War–style armistice agreement” while allowing the Donbas to secede from Ukraine. 

This last point is crucial. Like Crimea, the Donbas is majority-Russian. The majority of the public wants to join the Russian Federation. Local militias are fighting alongside the Russian army. They will keep fighting until Kiev allows them to join the Russian Federation. Among the presidential hopefuls—in both parties—Ramaswamy alone really seems to grasp that.

The trouble is that it’s hard to imagine him, or anyone else, beating Donald Trump. Then again, maybe he doesn’t have to.  

Ramaswamy is singular among Trump’s rivals in that he has nothing but good things to say about Forty-Five; for his part, Trump seems to admire the young tycoon. It looks like Ramaswamy is taking a page from Ben Carson’s 2016 playbook. As a reward for his loyalty, Trump made Carson his HUD Secretary. The (infinitely more impressive) Ramaswamy could easily find himself the next U.S. Secretary of State.

Maybe then we can end the slaughter. Then, maybe, we’ll have a chance at peace.