What might have been.How sad that a man who entered the White House with so much hope -- with so much support from the other side -- with so much optimism from across the globe left eight years later with nothing but the empty suit he came in on.
From Bill Kristol:
By the end of Obama's presidency, the U.S. standing in the world was weaker — clearly and appreciably weaker — than when he became president. The force of American power was diminished, and freedom was in retreat. By the end of Obama's presidency, was there a single part of the world where the United States was in a stronger position than when he took office? Was there an ally who was more confident or an adversary who was less so? By the end of Obama's presidency, were any important countries either friendlier or freer than they had been when he took over?
The answer to all these questions: no.In retrospect, we know the weakness was part of the plan for Obama's dark vision of a future world order run by an oligarchy of despots, including a nuclearized Iran, an unrepentant Cuba, and a host of caliphates across the crescent of the Earth from Indonesia to Tunis.
Much of Kristol's column actually is a defense of Bush 43, perhaps an effort to prod Trump to adopt some of those actions. I do not see Trump being less vigilant than Dubya, however I do see Trump learning from the latter's mistakes which remain unmentioned by Kristol and company.
Kristol quoted at the end of his column Winston Churchill's House of Commons speech on March 24, 1938:
For five years I have talked to the House on these matters — not with very great success. I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, fecklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf. It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends. A little further on there are only flagstones, and a little further on still these break beneath your feet.Kristol left it there.
"Thanks to Barack Obama, the flagstones today lie broken beneath our feet. Whatever judgment we'll eventually make on the Trump presidency, we should bear in mind the unenviable situation he inherited. And hope against hope that he rises to the occasion," Kristol ended the column.
But Churchill had gone further:
It is true that great mistakes were made in the years immediately after the War. At Locarno we laid the foundation from which a great forward movement could have been made. Look back upon the last five years, since, that is to say, Germany began to rearm in earnest and openly to seek revenge. If we study the history of Rome and Carthage, we can understand what happened and why. It is not difficult to understand and form an intelligent view about the three Punic Wars; but if mortal catastrophe should overtake the British nation and the British Empire, historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs.
They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory -- gone with the wind.
Now the victors are the vanquished, and those who threw down their arms in the field and sued for an armistice are striding on to world mastery. That is the position, that is the terrible transformation that has taken place bit by bit. I rejoice to hear from the Prime Minister that a further supreme effort is to be made to place us in a position of security: Now is the time at last to rouse the nation.
Perhaps it is the last time it can be roused with a chance of preventing war, or with a chance of coming through to victory should our efforts to prevent war fail. We should lay aside every hindrance to endeavour by uniting the whole force and spirit of our people to raise again a great British nation standing up before all the world, for such a nation, rising in its ancient vigour, can even at this hour save civilisation.Trump's presidency is more than a rebuke of Obama's presidency, because his election was a call to save Western civilization.
Churchill's prediction -- "They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory -- gone with the wind" -- alas proved untrue, for we now know all too well how a good people are easily led astray by the false prophecy of peace.
Never again, we tell ourselves -- which ironically is the quickest way to have it all happen again.
Three months into his presidency, President Trump is well on his way toward obliterating the legacy of the empty suit.
Then comes the hard work of eliminating the conditions that led us to believe there was an easy way out called Barack Obama.
The original, "Trump the Press" chronicled and mocked how the media missed Trump's nomination.
It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.
Then came "Trump the Establishment," covering the election, which again the media missed.
It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.
Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at DonSurber@GMail.com
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