And we elected him president. Twice. The American people enjoyed the luxury of feminization in the aftermath of the Cold War. When Edmund Muskie cried while defending his wife, Jane, from media attacks during the 1972 presidential primaries, his campaign collapsed. Americans simply could not afford a man who wept under pressure during a Cold War with the Soviets. Clinton had the benefit of the post-Cold War economic boom and foreign policy reorganization. We lived in a new world, and perhaps a kinder, gentler president -- a man who could weep with Third Worlders, who could hug our quasi-enemies into submission -- would fit the times.
Now, however, we live once again in dangerous times. The American public, which grew accustomed to Dr. Phil as president in the 1990s, now wants a combination of Dr. Phil and Winston Churchill. Bush patterns himself after Churchill, but doesn't pay a lot of attention to Dr. Phil. Thus the left's constant focus on the "smirking chimp" inhabiting the White House. Thus the constant emphasis on President Bush's "heartless" foreign policy, focused less on the blather of the United Nations and more on American military power. Thus the constant emphasis on President Bush's supposed "egotism" for refusing to apologize for each and every American casualty.
It is worth remembering that muscular defense of American freedoms is not egocentric. Clintonesque self-indulgent retreat into tears and hugs in the face of hardship, however, is textbook narcissism. We no longer need and can no longer afford a president who publicly agonizes over turning 60. We need Churchill, not Dr. Phil. We need Bush, not Clinton.
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