Jonah Goldberg

Then there's the just plain ignorant refrain that George W. Bush is responsible for anti-American feelings around the world. A Martian who listened to these speakers would assume that the nations of the world cheerfully followed America's lead like those cartoon animals following Snow White.

What a crock! Throughout the 1990s, America's standing in Europe and around the globe deteriorated. In 1999, Bill Clinton needed 10,000 policemen to protect him from Greek activists who aimed to firebomb him. Protestors in Athens continually pulled down a statue of Harry Truman.

Don't the Dems remember the anti-globalization movement of the 1990s? Have they already purged from the memory banks those images of scruffy Luddites burning American flags and razing any McDonald's in their path?

Yes, it's wonderful that John Kerry speaks French. But I doubt he can talk the French out of a reflexive anti-Americanism they cultivated for decades before Bush entered office. During the 1990s, remember, French bookstores were festooned with anti-American treatises like "Who Is Killing France? The American Strategy" and "American Totalitarianism." "No Thanks, Uncle Sam," written by a member of the French Parliament, was a bestseller. He concluded, "It is appropriate to be downright anti-American."

This was all long before George Bush's "cowboy diplomacy" got the so-called cheese-eating surrender monkeys in a snit. And there is little reason to believe that a President Kerry would be able to jibber-jabber the French - or NATO - into a "strong alliance" that wouldn't melt under fire.

Examples abound, from assertions of lost civil liberties to the specter of "families" being "rounded up" by the government. These would all be dismissed as paranoid ravings were they not delivered in such milquetoast tones.

Of course, there are reasonable difference on all the important issues. And reasonable disagreements are good. What's annoying is that the Democrats don't want talk about what those differences are.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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