Our selective isolationism
The American people have woken up from a slumber to a very un-Reaganesque American foreign policy. Missing is that shining city on a hill. Gone is that beacon of freedom. Our moral clarity is absent without leave. America’s national purpose, other than selective isolationism and ad-hoc Middle East retreatism, seems a fading memory.
This will undoubtedly annoy President Trump’s supporters, but all I have to say about that is if this were happening under Barack Obama, they’d be screaming bloody murder. I know that because something similar to this did happen under President Obama, and I along with millions of other Republicans were screaming bloody murder. Remember his red line n Syria? And how the pro-Iranian Assad regime crossed it with impunity?
It seems to me that when mayhem — and I don’t care where, who it affects, or how far away from us it occurs — is allowed to happen, resulting in women and children being slaughtered, human “collateral” yanked from cars and beheaded on the side of the road, while the greatest military superpower in the history of the world can stop it, but not only does nothing to intervene, but our President brags about not intervening — I submit we’ve lost our Heavenly mandate, our exceptionalism, our very conscience.
Alexis De Tocqueville in the 1830s, while traveling around the United States doing research for his book, “Democracy in America,” said America is great because Americans are good.
That was absolutely true of America in the early to mid-19th century — a nation that ends slavery is a nation to be celebrated for its inherent decency. It was also true in the 1930s, and 1940s — a nation that sends its sons, brothers and fathers to die to liberate a continent from the grip of a madman is a country that has earned the right to be called exceptional.
Today, however, as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it’s a debatable proposition.
If America has lost the right to be called exceptional, or even great, it might be due to the lack of a national clarion call, or possibly the absence of the man in the arena blowing freedom’s bugle. That man in the arena is crucial to our inspiration, and to our determination to be that nation that God ordained us to be. And if you question whether God ordained America to be the country we used to be, you need to read history.
As a country, America has never been wealthier, more powerful militarily or stronger economically; we’ve never been richer in creature comforts, or showered with more modern conveniences in the form of gadgets and toys.
Our GDP is up, unemployment is low, the NASDAQ and S&P 500 are up, inflation and interest rates are low. Things are good in America. Our economy is the envy of the world. And, yet, ironically, Americans, especially our youth, have never been more pessimistic, more cynical, more insular, or more estranged from each other, and more especially from our raison d’etre.
And this isn’t just bad for the United States; it is bad for the world. Because an America that doesn’t embrace its uniquely vital role in the world as the indispensable nation, that shining city on a hill, will inevitably result in a planet that is darker, poorer, meaner and bloodier.