To begin, the W in the White House has decried practices such as “isolationism” in order to justify intervening in the affairs of other nations at will.
Next, W has been very lenient with illegal immigrants (most of whom come from Mexico), citing that they are only coming here because the United States offers them opportunities and wealth that most of them cannot find at home. Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain has gone along with this line of thinking, once making the statement that Americans are not willing to pick cabbages for $50 an hour. (I didn’t realize that Mexicans were being paid $50 an hour to pick cabbages; and I as an American would be quite willing to work part-time as a cabbage picker for that kind of pay. But I digress.)
W does not heed the criticisms of his “free trade” policies. On the surface, this is a brilliant idea—and one that the earliest Presidents followed, as America sought robust and only lightly regulated commerce with the rest of the world. However, their first loyalty was not to the entire planet, but to the United States Republic. They felt that American capitalist and related democratic values were what could help Americans and, by extension, the rest of the willing world. They sought not so much “free” trade as fair trade.
When W is criticized for current U.S. trade policies that yield record trade deficit after record trade deficit and devalue the dollar, when he is told that he has abdicated his duty to enforce the laws of our borders (and admonish Congress to draft new immigration laws if our current ones are too Byzantine), he waxes contemptuous with such criticisms and belittles them as flawed “protectionism” and “nativism”.
While still Texas governor in the late 1990s, W insisted that were he to become President, nation building would be an off-the-table option for the United States. Our entry into Iraq a little over five years ago now says the precise opposite.
W has many Conservatives and centrists sick and tired. They are deeply concerned by the fact that he seems never to have sought "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none", as Thomas Jefferson would have us do. They are appalled that the United States of the 21st century "goes…abroad, in search of monsters to destroy,” as John Quincy Adams admonished against our doing.
This is the “isolationism” that W decries.
Other W critics, including some in the military and CIA, the very sort that normally are very positive in their backing of a tough-minded President, have denounced the administration of W for failing to be effective at acting as commander-in-chief of our military by permitting our war strategies to languish in the dead and gone world of the Cold War, wherein it was the only force powerful and effective enough to hold back the blood-dimmed tide of Communism but, now, is halfway to being as impotent as the French in Algiers in the 20th century.
They say our military in Iraq and even more so in Afghanistan is fighting with one hand tied behind its back—not because of any lack of capability, but because it is being held back by the White House and the Pentagon. Why? If the United States unleashed the beast of its full military might, firepower-wise and technology-wise, we would crush the enemy—militant Islam—entirely; but at the price of displeasing the Europeans (except, ironically, the French under Sarkozy). The U.S. diplomatic leadership is not willing to pay that price.
The recent revelations made clear by the actions of the Federal Reserve and the W Treasury Department that the federal government is spending considerable time in bed with private industry, and wants to bed even more in the private sector, all the while shouting about laissez-faire capitalistic principles and de-regulating, aren’t winning souls for W.
The disgust and fury of those who would otherwise be W supporters stems from the fact that he has been the most Liberal-acting, the farthest Left-leaning of all (allegedly) Republican Presidents. Many of them consider W “Socialist Lite”.
As with so many people, W’s strength (his steadfastness once he has taken a stand on something) is also his weakness (he cannot abide criticism, even when it’s wise and justified).
All leaders have weaknesses, because all leaders are human. But in their leadership role, we expect them to transcend their weaknesses at least far more often than they leave them open and vulnerable.
Besides largely failing to govern by the light of the republican values under the banner of which W won the Oval Office twice, W’s administration has done much to jeopardize the chances of John McCain’s winning the Presidency. And with some of the things he has espoused making conservative blood boil, McCain does not need any added obstacles, especially not now as the Democrats come undone at the seams and their candidates’ characters are shown to be small and impotent when set next to McCain’s.
No, W is not an evil demon with diabolical supernatural powers like the Lefties make him out to be (you see, even they fear that he is all too much like they are). But he could have been so much more than what he is.
Tags: Bush , War , Immigration , Isolation , Left
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.