The first memories I have of a President were of Jack Kennedy. There were many different facets of his image, but there one that is quite clear. He was an unabashed supporter of Democracy. Not only Democracy for the United States, but throughout the world. If the current situation in Iran is any indication, the current crop of Democrats has lost their way on this issue.
This past week’s actions in Iran have been a defining moment in Iran and the entire Middle East. Yet our current President decided to sit on the sidelines. Not only did he sit on the sidelines, but so has every other Democrat along with the entirety of the liberal media. The only commentary I found criticizing Obama’s approach to Iran’s street protests was by Robert Guttman on Huffington Post. Senator John Kerry wrote an article published in the New York Times fully endorsing Mr. Obama’s nearly nonexistent reaction to this pivotal moment.
At the same time, the right-of-center world was totally supportive of protesters and their right to live in a freely-elected Democracy. Every publication and every TV broadcast was filled with calls to support the protesters in their fight against this repressive regime.
To be fair, Republican Presidents have made mistakes in recent times on this issue. Gerald Ford refused to meet with refuseniks from the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan’s initial response was slow to the upheaval in the Philippines, but he quickly changed course.
But since the time of Reagan and then reinforced by George W. Bush, the Republicans have clearly been on the side of spreading Democracy throughout the world. Mr. Bush spent his entire second inaugural speech on this topic, and it will remain as one of the hallmark commentaries on the fight between despots and democrats. Mr. Bush placed the United States firmly on the side of democracy for all people as a continuation of our heritage since our inception. Mr. Obama has attempted to reject almost everything Bush, but not endorsing this policy is a tragic mistake.