With the growing influence of the antiwar left in this country, particularly emboldened by the November congressional elections, I fear for our nation as I consider the strong possibility it could elect a liberal, antiwar commander in chief during wartime.
"Chill out," you say. "These people have been protesting for years. They're just fringe extremists and no one listens to them."
Really? It would be nice if they could be so easily dismissed. But these so-called extremists -- many of them Sixties radicals -- just happen to dominate our universities, and their sympathizers "own" the mainstream media. There are far more of them in government and politics than you think, and their impact is significant.
One of them would be commander in chief today but for some 120,000 votes in Ohio, or the noble efforts of certain Swift Boat patriots to highlight the other side of his military record.
People are way too casual about all of this. Surely someone as distinguished and powerful as John Kerry couldn't conceivably be contemptuous of this country. Indeed, every time Kerry uttered an America-bashing remark or expressed his willingness to compromise American sovereignty during the 2004 campaign, his weary defenders adamantly denied his words should be understood by their plain meaning.
But no matter what new excuses they'd come up with, they couldn't alter the fact that Kerry's expressions had been consistent since he came home from the Vietnam War and falsely accused his fellow soldiers -- en masse -- of unspeakable war atrocities. And though he indignantly denied the unmistakable intent of his words derogating today's soldiers and tried to pass them off as a bad joke, most people knew better.
Any remaining doubt as to his jaundiced predisposition against many things great and good in this country should be removed by his most recent performance at a world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.
As all but those locked in closets know, Kerry said Bush administration foreign policy had caused the United States to become "a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons." And, no. Kerry wasn't just talking about what foreigners think of us. He was telling us what he thinks.
The almost 44th president of the United States amplified on the point. "When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we didn't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we [send] a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy."
But wait, there's more. And even considering the liberal bias of the media, it's amazing these additional statements didn't get more press than they did. Kerry announced his support for Iran's right to use civilian nuclear technology and said the West should withdraw its prerequisites for the resumption of nuclear talks with Iran.
He then said that Americans have an "unfortunate habit" of seeing the world "exclusively through an American lens." They only find out how different (read: more reasonable) the world is when they travel outside the United States.
As if all this weren't enough, Kerry voiced his agreement with Iran's former president Seyed Mohammad Khatami that violence in the Middle East "increased after the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Bin Ladenism."
"Fine," you say, "but so what? Kerry's irrelevant now, so you should focus your energies elsewhere."
Don't fool yourself. Kerry is still a U.S. senator. His party chose him to be its standard bearer in 2004. Four years earlier it chose the increasingly hysterical Al Gore. Now it appears ready to nominate Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, both of whom are decidedly liberal, and both of whom are just as decidedly deceptive about it.
Though the adoring media feign obliviousness, Hillary is busy tying herself in knots avoiding, explaining and denying her previous statements and actions in support of the war in Iraq and Obama is proposing unspeakably reckless legislation to withdraw our troops on a not-too-distant date certain.
In the meantime, while Hillary and Obama are pandering to their base, and Kerry is slobbering all over foreign tyrants and excoriating his own country, Congress, including many Republicans, is threatening to oppose President Bush's troop surge in Iraq.
With one party having its head firmly planted in the sand concerning the war on terror and the other having far too many imitators who seem hell-bent on proving the United States doesn't have the stomach for this war, we can only hope those with a more sober and realistic perspective will persevere in their support for American policy and American troops.