In the 1980s, Senator Kerry tried to crush attempts to build democracy instead of communism in Central America, comparing the Reagan Administration's attempts to fight the spread of Soviet and Cuban revolution to ... Vietnam, of course. Perhaps Kerry thought those non-white Third World peoples must also not know the difference between communism and democracy -- except they repeatedly voted for the anti-communists in El Salvador and voted out the Sandinista dictatorship in Nicaragua. And communists continue to lose elections in those countries to this day. Now Kerry & Co. are trying to move Vietnam to the Middle East.
The Bush White House may speak in idealistic tones of spreading the gift of liberty, but what the Kerry camp worships isn't an idea, but a strategy, a calculated process of internationally negotiated settlements somehow quieting -- but not defeating -- rogues and killers who recognize no rules and are immune to diplomacy.
It does not matter if that international process negotiates a democracy away. It does not matter if the international process is riddled with corruption, like the disastrous United Nations' "Oil for Food Program." All that matters is that we've been supportive of an international process. The liberal elite will have to forgive the American people for the bad taste in their mouths over all this. As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal put it precisely: "Why would anyone vote for a Democrat who isn't even a democrat?"
The media elite are appalled at the conservative idealism that stands in bold contrast to Kerryism. On CBS, "60 Minutes" sage Mike Wallace moaned in agony: "The president of the United States, without a great deal of background in foreign policy, makes up his mind and believes he was sent by somebody to free the people -- not just in Iraq, but around the world?" Liberal author Bob Woodward shared Wallace's horror: "It is far-reaching, and ambitious, and I think will cause many people to tremble."
Perhaps what causes many people to tremble is the idea that the security of the United States and the cause of world freedom will be left in the cynical clutches of John Kerry and the manipulative media elite that shares his reverence for diplomacy over democracy, for process over principle.