The Doctrine of Election


It is a momentous time as history-making votes are cast, many for John McCain and Barak Obama, slightly fewer for Hillary Clinton, not too many for Mike Huckabee. But for Huckabee that’s okay; he’s really trading futures (like Hillary used to do), only it’s political futures he trading, not cattle futures. But we’re all gambling with the future in this election. I know, that’s true in every one of them, but we live at one of those crucial watershed times Paul Tillich theologized with the Greek New Testament work kairos, a strategic moment of crisis and equally of opportunity. And that kairos has more than anything else to do with foreign policy.

I have not lost sight of the fact that it is also a decisive moment in that we might have our first African American president or our first female president. I rejoice at either prospect. But I do not approach that prospect in the pathetic spirit of Affirmative Action, as if pigmentation and genitalia were the criteria for professional excellence. But it would be a great milepost showing how certain prejudices have been exorcised once and for all. And I don’t mind telling you my first choice for president would have been Condoleeza Rice (even though she’s a football fan. I can ignore that, as I have to with many friends.). Imagine! An African American and a woman (and a Republican! You know the old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”)

Politics is the only sport I like. But I’m a couch potato, purely a spectator. Do not look for my kisser on a poster, running for dog catcher. Nor am I likely to show up on your doorstep trick or treating for Greg Stillson. But it is fun hearing Chris Matthews, Bob Beckel, Michelle Malkin, Fred Barnes, and especially the all-wise Charles Krauthammer and others handicap the game. It is great fun blustering and pontificating at the TV tube when politics comes on, while my patient wife and daughter roll their eyes indulgently. But I can’t help myself! I have to do what husbands and fathers do! The gals can forgive me this, I suppose, because at least I do not make them into football widows.

I plan on being a good sport and a good American no matter who wins the election. Even if it is the unscrupulous Madame DuFarge, I will swallow my detestation of her and get behind her, hoping for the best. I will be loyal to her as my president, unless and until she does things, as her husband did, to alienate me. But I will not be expecting her to, much less hoping she does. No, she is going to have to disappoint me if I am to turn against her. And I don’t want to—if she’s president.

With Obama, I harbor certain fears, not only of his inexperience, but of his utopianism. I am afraid he is all hopes and dreams. In terms of our relationships with other powers, he takes a position that Zarathustra despises. He, a man of the Left, seems to view the unpopularity of the United States as our fault. We are the Ugly Americans, and we have shot first and asked questions later—or not at all. Our enemies would have responded constructively had we only courted them with rhetoric and foresworn military action. This is the talk of the “useful idiots” courted by our enemies. It thinks it is feasible to negotiate from weakness instead of strength. It seems to imagine that ruthless enemies will do other than hold us in contempt as weaklings if we come begging hat in hand for people to like us. Au contraire, it is not important whether they like us. It is important that they respect us. And the people whose respect for us that peace requires will accord us that respect if we show strength. (It worked with Libya, didn’t it?) That’s what they are trying to do after all, with North Korea’s nuclear tantrums and with Saddam Hussein’s fatal, empty boasts, leading all to believe he had weapons of mass destruction ready to use. (Turns out we took him a little more seriously than he wanted to be taken!)

Obama’s position seems uncomfortably close to appeasement. We just need to talk some more to Iran, as if years of appeasement negotiations with the European nations have not proven again and again to be mere suckering tactics to buy more time. American Liberals bemoan (quite rightly!) the West’s failure to take seriously Hitler’s loudly announced plans to exterminate Jews. I guess we just couldn’t believe anybody could be that evil. It had to be hyperbole. What a terrible error! Six million Jews paid for that error. And now, in the twenty-first century, how do we justify laughing off the announced genocidal plans of a nuclear Iran? If, horror of horrors, Iran nukes Israel, how will appeasers in this country manage to avert the blame? They do not seem to realize the stakes they are playing, any more than Neville Chamberlain did.

Obviously, I’m planning to vote for McCain. I think he has a unique ability to reach across party lines to get things done for our country. And he has the backbone, the grown-up willingness, to break with the crowd and do what is right. He has both a nuanced view (in my opinion) on the immigration issue (over which hyper-conservatives like to wax hysterical) and a firm readiness to act on behalf of our nation’s security. He is the man for America for dangerous times. You want a shepherd like King David, who will not hesitate to take up weapons against marauding bears and lions threatening his flock. You don’t want one who will lie down with the sheep and invite getting eaten.

But suppose Obama is elected. Again, I believe it will be my patriotic duty to wish him every success and to support him. (I like him already. And his Ugandan duds, of which so much has been made? I hope he wears ‘em to his inauguration!) I want to look on the bright side instead of grousing like a Talk Radio host for four or eight years. If Obama becomes president, I figure, here at least is our chance to see if the great Liberal experiment works, including Socialism and Pacifism, since that’s pretty much what I think the Democrats are moving toward. Maybe the experiment will work! I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I will not be looking for an excuse to jeer. We’re all in this together. 

But what’s the downside? What’s the worst case scenario? As for the economy, I can’t even guess. I know I will appreciate the free health care if I get it, whether it is a good thing or not in the long run, but I don’t want to vote on the strength of my interests anyway. On the international front, I fear that Axis of Evil nations (what, they aren’t?) will behave badly since we will have guaranteed we will not get involved. Our alliances will mean nothing, and then you will see our stock in the eyes of other nations sink fast! Looking the other way from Iran will only make a Mideast Nuke war more likely.  

I marvel at the bizarre and perverse Democratic attempts to protect (even to create) the “Constitutional rights” of fire-breathing Islamo-fascist enemies of America, protecting their “right’ to conspire for terrorist attacks on America. Clearly ultra-Liberals like Patrick Lahee value the “rights” of al-Qaida thugs (picked up on the battlefield for God’s sake!) over the lives of Americans whom they threaten. This is a twisted self-hatred pathology masquerading as a political ideology. It is the suicidal tendency of the morbid ascetic. Such efforts, canonized by a Democratic administration full of misplaced Utopian ideals, will erode national security—indeed they seem designed to do so! The America they invite is the one you see every week if you watch the TV show “24.” There would be (again, on the worst case scenario) periodic dirty bomb blasts in major cities, sabotage of oil processing plants, even suitcase nukes, bridges blown, etc. Horrors that could have been avoided, horrors for which no one will take responsibility, though their policies will have led right to them. Pious politicians will treat them as if they were natural disasters. And this is the real danger, that even after they happen, no one will learn the lessons of history. Those who close their eyes tightly to the facts now will have no more trouble keeping them closed for the aftermath. Such doctrinaire Liberals are firmly ensconced in the middle of a self-sealing reality-bubble in which no one may ever learn from his mistakes, since by definition, there cannot have been any!

But will we see the worst case scenario? I am no prophet, whether an Isaiah or a Cassandra. I am only Zarathustra. And as such, I will not be surprised if those who fear confrontation and surrender inch-by-inch to Evil through “enlightened” negotiations with it will refuse to take responsibility for the results of their folly afterward any more than they do beforehand.

So says Zarathustra.

Robert M. Price
March 2008


Copyright©2009 by Robert M Price
Spirit of Carolina Web Design