Let it be said before we know the outcome of the war in Iraq that America and the world are inordinately lucky to have George W. Bush as America's president.
In fact, I would go further. To the extent that one is ever able to see the hand of God in history -- and since biblical times, one has never been given certitude in this regard -- I believe that either divine intervention or good luck on the magnitude of a lottery win explains George W. Bush's rise to the position of president.
It is not meant to disparage the character of two decent men, Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman, to say that we should daily get down on our hands and knees in gratitude that George W. Bush, along with Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, has governed our country since 9-11. I am not alone (even many Democrats now agree) in shuddering at the thought of how close we were to having the Democratic Party governing at this time.
Al Gore, I always believed, was more frightening than Bill Clinton. President Clinton loved politics and power, and he did not appear to have a set of core beliefs. This prevented him from ever attaining greatness. But it also prevented him from being dangerous. Gore, on the other hand, did deeply believe in something: the greatest danger to the world was the threat to the natural environment. George W. Bush most fears a different danger to the world: human evil.
Al Gore and the Democratic Party, like the Western Europeans, fear global warming far more than they fear Saddam Hussein. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney fear Saddam far more than they fear carbon dioxide emissions.
Lacking the moral confidence possessed by President Bush, Al Gore and his Democratic Party would have striven for consensus -- arguing, again just as the European moral relativists do, that it is morally right to attack Iraq if the United Nations says it is, but morally wrong if the United Nations says it is not. For the Democratic Party and their European allies, right and wrong are man-made constructs, and therefore U.N. votes determine what is right. George W. Bush argues that morality should never be decided by a U.N. vote, that having Syria, China, Guinea and France determine what is right and wrong and what America should do to protect itself would precipitate the beginning of the end of America and of civilization itself.
George W. Bush believes in a God "who is not neutral" between good and evil, between the torturer and the tortured. The Democratic Party prefers to see God as a deity who shies away from making moral judgments. Or whose judgments are His alone, unknowable to mortals.
George W. Bush believes that America has a God-given mission to be a light to the world and to spread liberty. The Democratic Party believes that such talk is chauvinistic arrogance. They believe, like the French, that the United Nations, not America, should be the most powerful force on earth.
George W. Bush would surely like the world to agree with him and to like him, but, thank God, he is prepared to go it alone and to be hated -- a defining trait of a great leader. Most Democrats believe that America should never go it alone and that if America is widely disliked, America must be wrong. In this regard, George W. Bush is the antithesis of his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton, for whom being loved was of paramount importance.
George W. Bush is regularly described by American and foreign critics as a "cowboy." They are right, and for this, too, we should thank God. The Europeans and Democrats use that term as an epithet, but for many Americans the image of a lone cowboy fighting bad men is a revered one. Many of us have far more moral confidence in the Lone Ranger than in Jacques Chirac or Kofi Annan.
The Lone Ranger rides again. Thank God he does.