Today we rarely recall Roosevelt’s early assertions of “neutrality” or his categorical pronouncements of what the American military would not do when faced with a war of aggression and conquest in Europe. (Given his own , President Joe Biden seems to have forgotten some of this history.) We have also forgotten that, as the Nazis were beginning to construct Auschwitz, our , “1940 Born in Wild Revelry; Good Year for Nation Seen.” We avoid the tragic truth that we stopped paying close attention even as millions were dying.
In 2022 the challenge of sustaining our focus is especially daunting. We live in a hyperactive attention economy of unprecedented scale and intensity. And as we swipe and scroll through our news feeds, the Kremlin is biding its time and waiting for us to succumb to “Ukraine fatigue.”
In fact, they are banking on it. For years Russian President Vladimir Putin and his propagandists have , decadent and self-involved. The massive outpouring of global support for Ukraine today must seem to them little more than ephemeral virtue signaling. In their view, especially as gas and food prices increase, we’ll look for the first excuse to fall back into a familiar position: sympathetic indifference.