Want to know where the Democratic Party stands and where America would be under their leadership? Just ask Jimmy Carter.
Carter is certainly not bashful about bashing the United States, even on foreign soil or to the foreign press. He sat for an interview with Der Spiegel recently and fired with both barrels at President Bush, "fundamentalist" Christians and Israel.
But do Carter's views represent those of the Democratic Party? Well, he sure seems to think so. He told Der Spiegel, "I think I represent the vast majority of Democrats in this country." If so, that's scary.
Expanding on the theme of his latest book, "Our Endangered Values," Carter said the Bush administration has abandoned the nation's "old" moral principles. That's a curious concept: By upholding traditional moral values President Bush has diverted the nation's moral course?
Carter is particularly exercised about Bush's foreign policy. He said, "Under all of its predecessors there was a commitment to peace instead of preemptive war. Our country always had a policy of not going to war unless our own security was directly threatened and now we have a new policy of going to war on a preemptive basis."
But no less an antiwar Democrat than Sen. John Kerry -- after savaging President Bush for his "preemptive" attack of Iraq -- admitted in the first presidential debate that, "The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for preemptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War."
No matter how persistently Carter's Democrats attempt to rewrite history, President Bush attacked Iraq because he believed it was a threat to America's security -- and it was, just like Iran is today. Carter is delusional if he believes Bush was just recreationally flexing America's "imperialistic" muscles to spread democracy.
The debate here between Democrats and Republicans isn't over the use of preemptive war -- as Kerry reluctantly confessed -- but on the assessment of threats to our national security. Specifically, the debate centers on the parties' respective views of the nature and scope of the terrorist threat, whether Israel is seen as more of a victim surrounded by hostile regimes bent on its destruction or a bullying, aggressive nation, and whether we should defer on these questions to anti-American leaders in Europe and the United Nations.
Carter states the Democrats' position quite clearly. Islamo-fascist terrorists aren't that bad. They are probably peace-loving people like the rest of us who just have their noses out of joint over Bush's "unilateral" foreign policy and his "preemptive" attack on Iraq. Indeed, Carter said the Arab world hates us because we invaded Iraq, and even more so for "supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon."
In the interview, Carter pointedly blamed Bush's foreign policy on his Christian "fundamentalism." He nicely articulated the position of today's Democratic leaders, which while scrambling for "values voters," consistently insult them, and while holding themselves out as superior guardians of our national security, see America, not the terrorists, as the problem.
Carter, after unmistakably implying that Bush is a fundamentalist, said that fundamentalists believe "they are speaking for God" and "anyone who disagrees with them is inherently wrong" and "inherently inferior." "In extreme cases -- as is the case with some fundamentalists around the world -- it makes your opponents sub-humans, so that their lives are not significant." Since "the negotiating process itself is an indication of implied equality" the fundamentalist (read: President Bush) "can't bring himself or herself to negotiate with people who disagree with them."
Carter also said that since the fundamentalists believe they are speaking for God, they think they are above making, much less admitting, mistakes. "So when we permit the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, it's just impossible for a fundamentalist (read: Bush -- again) to admit that a mistake was made."
Carter couldn't be more wrong. Bush, though not even close to a fundamentalist, is a Bible-believing Christian who by definition believes in the equal dignity of all people.
But leave it to Carter to say Bush "permitted" torture, which is an outright lie. Leave it to him to believe the worst about "fundamentalist" Christians and the best of Islamo-fascist terrorists.
Sadly, I believe Carter does speak for the Democratic leadership, and that speaks volumes about the Democrat leadership.