Tales from the Mark Side: The Conservative Voice in Manatee County

Lessons from Ukraine


By Mark Young



There is nothing more frustrating to me than to scroll social media and see comments like, “Why do we care so much about Ukraine,” or even worse, “What’s going on in Ukraine?”

It’s scary to see how many people live in their bubbles and don’t pay attention to the world.

But they somehow find a way to vote.

I don’t expect most people to have my backgrounds in both the military and journalism. I don’t expect most people to spend the majority of their days watching nothing but news and researching anything I hear that I’m not 100% knowledgeable about.

That’s my thing. It is what makes me happy. I’m just someone that has to be in the know.

But for the love of God, at least pay attention and make the effort.

Unfortunately, none of those people will take the time to read this in the first place, so I’ll digress and get back talking to you, who does make the effort as well.

Let me first say what an inspiration Ukrainians have become. These are amazing people.

From the old man who said he wasn’t good with a rifle but will pick up his knife and slaughter Russian soldiers like pigs, to the old woman who handed sunflower seeds to a Russian soldier and said she looks forward to picking sunflowers from wherever his corpse falls on Ukrainian soil, I’m just overly impressed with their defiance of tyranny.

These are my kind of people.

There is a lot to talk about in dissecting what is happening in Ukraine, to include how Biden has failed yet again, taking far too many missteps going back to his own energy policies, to giving China our plan in how we would respond to this. Biden actually thought China wouldn’t give those plans to Putin. God, the level of stupidity in our current leadership is mind boggling to say the least.

We’ll outline more of those disastrous steps Biden has taken through this process later, but the biggest lesson is something I have been screaming from the mountain top for years.

If you think the worst can’t happen and aren’t prepared for it, you are naive and destined to be a casualty.

To quickly answer a question I see a lot on social media of, “Why should we care about Russia invading Ukraine?” is evidence that many just don’t pay attention to the very real threats in the world and just how fragile peace really is.

I can give you a very long geopolitical explanation as to why we should care, and some of what I would say is already starting to play out anyway. I have always had the same answer to people who ask the question of, “Why should we be the world’s police force?”

The analogy is easy. Let’s say you, or a loved one, is walking down the street and two bad guys pull you into an alley with every intention of doing horrible things to you.

I happen to see this take place. Do I simply say, “Oh, glad that’s not happening to me. I think I’ll just keep walking.”

No. My Conservative and moral nature demands that I act. Both you and I will feel better about me not walking away. And what if you did see that I was capable of helping you and chose not to?

Your level of helplessness would be compounded knowing someone could have rescued you but decided it just wasn’t my problem.

Those who do not believe that there is actual evil in this world and think bad things “can’t happen here,” is a phenomenon that I simply do not understand.

Have you been sheltered that much in your life that you do not see the world around you? While this isn’t about politics at the moment, the delusion of seeing fiction as reality instead of the other way around is very much the liberal mentality.

If you break it down to a personal, and God forbid, a very unspeakable brutal criminal act against you, I would assume it has to make sense.

If you then expand that concept from how very real bad guys can be in a back alley and then transfer that reality into a criminal who just happens to be in charge of a military arsenal, it should answer your question as to why we should care.

People turned a blind eye as Hitler began annexing countries, saying, “Oh Hitler got what he wanted, he’ll stop there. Why should we care?”

Just look at some of these defund police democrats who got caught up in the crime surge following their attempts to actually implement those insane policies. You didn’t hear them say defund the police anymore. No, you heard them say refund the police.

It should be the same concept for our military. Liberals constantly defund our military when they achieve power when the realities around us should demand to keep defense spending as high as possible.

As incredible and amazing as the Ukranians have been in this unjustified action against them, they too, were largely complacent in thinking Russia was just trying to intimidate them and wouldn’t attack.

Until the missiles started flying and the tanks rolled in. It’s the same concept. You don’t think four armed men are going to show up at your door and change your life forever, but you should always be prepared for it to happen and assume, on some level, that it will.

People keep saying it can’t happen. Americans keep saying things like this would never happen here. You can say that maybe it’s not likely. But if you say it’s impossible or that war can’t come to your doorstep, then you are saying a rapist can’t come through your window.

It’s nonsense and dangerous to assume that just because you choose to live in a bubble that that bubble can’t be burst in an instant.

No one should ever live life afraid, but to live it unprepared for the worst sets you up for disaster.

You must look at the world with the same kind of vigilance that I would hope you would have if you visited New York City and got lost in some shady neighborhood.

There is no difference. The world is a shady place filled with bad actors intent on power and inflicting as much harm as is necessary to obtain it.

America has always had a problem in not learning its historical lessons. Unfortunately it always takes a painful lesson, but after time we continue to move on from it and go back to being complacent as a nation.

At the individual level it’s different for those who have stared evil in the face and understand that evil does exist. It not only exists, but it exists on a grand scale and just waits in the dark to be unleashed.

Should society as we know it ever collapse, you’ll see that evil outnumbers good as self-serving humans do whatever it takes for their own survival. If you live, you’ll learn how quickly your life is devalued by the mobs, gangs, criminals and even the majority of people who think they are good people until push comes to shove.

I have always said one simple thing: Society hangs on a thread. If you think it can’t all end in a moment’s notice, then you’re dead wrong.

Combat veterans know the evil in this world. Crime victims know the evil in this world. Law enforcement knows the evil in this world.

I don’t want to be blunt, but the facts are that someone who was beaten and robbed during a home invasion never takes their security, or lack thereof, for granted again. Neither does any other crime victim, the police who try to put these animals away and those veterans who know the horrors created when evil obtains power.

The leaders of Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, etc. are no different than those thugs who break into your home to steal your stuff and do unspeakable things to your family members. They lack compassion and empathy and care only for themselves. They enjoy inflicting pain on others.

These people aren’t a fantasy. It can happen to you. It can happen here. What will make the difference is the acknowledgement of that fact, and making sure you are prepared for it.

Hopefully it never does. But why would you ever take that chance with yourself and your family?

For me, I’d much rather die fighting than getting caught off guard and being victimized because I was unprepared. Come at me, whether criminal or foreign soldiers, and it’s on like Donkey Kong. It’s going down.

So as Russia threatens the west with nuclear war, remember how quickly the world can get out of control. Will it happen? Probably not. Can it happen? Absolutely.

I stand in solidarity with Ukraine and may God bless their valiant and justified resistance in this battle between good and evil.


By Mark Young

Mark Young is a U.S. Army veteran and a seasoned journalist of 25 years. His writing and reporting has garnered dozens of state press association and press club awards in Florida, Nebraska and Wyoming for investigative reporting, opinion writing, in-depth reporting and more.

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