It’s hard sometimes with the country intent on navel gazing to get America to pay attention to other parts of the world in their proper context. We only need look at places like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to understand this.
The conventional wisdom is that the US screwed up those places. The reality is that American intervention in each of these countries gave them their best chance at success, and-- if we failed in each-- it was a failure of the locals mostly, not America.
Except in this one regard: America failed each because we failed of nerve.
After watching “highly-decorated” Secretary of State John Kerry, Vietnam Navy veteran, mismanage foreign policy through a policy of group “hugs,”—and before him Hillary Clinton did the same thing-- is it any wonder that countries question our resolve?
I’m sure the Vietcong were terrified of him (*sarc font).
Especially when the Vietnam vet went to Capitol Hill in 1971 wearing his uniform and testified against his own country while plotting to use his testimony to run for office.
Even then he was committed to a policy of hugging it out with our enemies, as were all other Democrats.
When we send soldier like that off to war-- or to peace-- failure is the result.
In part, our problems start with the Democrats’ feeling that government can do anything, and when results aren’t immediately forthcoming, then they feel we must not be doing the right thing. In part, it stems from Democrats natural aversion to spending money on any constituency other than their own narrow one.
Iraqis don’t vote in American elections, and never will—legally or illegally-- because they’d vote for Republicans.
As would Afghanis, Libyans, Egyptians, and likely even Russians.
I’ll concede the Al Qaeda vote to Democrats, in the same way that they locked up the Vietcong vote.
But the country is starting to come around on foreign policy.
Obama’s foreign policy blunders have been so staggering that even the news media can’t cover them. And thus the Democrats lost the 2014 elections in resounding fashion.
While Obama’s approval rating on the economy is poor, his approval rating on foreign policy is hemorrhagic.
The spread on approval for economics issues according to an average from Real Clear Politics is 7.5 percent disapproval. The spread on foreign policy is 15 percent.
That’s because Obama’s foreign policy is the policy equivalent of Ebola.
It’s deadly, it’s contagious, and Obama has no plan for it all.
Since June of this year Obama regularly polls in the 20 percent disapproval rating for foreign policy. And even as the economic news was marginally brighter in the 3rd quarter because of lower gas prices and apparent strengthening GDP, America still thinks we are on the wrong track—by wide margins.
And that gap is reflected in restlessness by Americans about our place in the world.
I think we’ll see reduced expectations for the economy after 4th quarter GDP is announced at the end of the January. In the meantime, Obama thinks it’s all about the economy, stupid, because Bill Clinton once told him so.
He’ll trumpet the 3rd quarter GDP this week, even though he’ll take lumps for the 4th quarter slow down eventually.
Let's face it: He has nothing else.
The GOP shouldn’t make the same mistake and ignore foreign policy.
Republicans still have a muscular, morally superior argument to make in foreign policy for intervention and an active, exceptional America.
They ignore this strength at great discredit to our country.