How Ridiculous It Is To Think The Left Has Left-Wing Goals
May 25, 2009 2 Comments
I liked about 2/3rds of this Max Boot post. There is a voice of reason behind words such as these (emph mine):
As I tried to make clear, the point of my post wasn’t to defend the Obama national security policy–although I think on the whole it’s been pretty centrist and sensible.
Much of the change from the Bush administrat[ion] has been rhetorical not substantive. For instance, Obama has made a big deal out of banning “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding but they had already been discarded by the Bush administration in its second term. Much of what the commentators object to (and that I object to also) are a continuation of President Bush’s weak policies toward North Korea and Iran. In some areas Obama is actually being more hawkish by authorizing more Predator strikes in Pakistan and by increasing our troop numbers in Afghanistan well beyond the levels previously authorized by Bush. He has also backed off his campaign rhetoric by delaying our withdrawal from Iraq.
However at one point he overreaches, when he says
Ask yourself this: If Obama doesn’t believe in a strong national defense, what does he believe in? Making America weaker? Helping our enemies?
This is the sort of sentiment I always place in the mental category of Anti-McCarthyist thinking. Anti-McCarthyism, you will recall, was/is the movement to characterize as loony and crazy and ridiculous the notion that anyone, ever, in any circumstance, could ever have been a “Communist”. In essence, Anti-McCarthyism is when you go around whining about “witch hunts” in situations where there really are witches. At its worst it is about misdirection and covering up for co-ideologues; at its best (i.e., in Boot’s case I believe) it is about trying to play nicey-nicey so as to seem “sensible” and so that people will like you. In either case it involves denying truth.
I think truths should be stated. So, I have responded. Here’s my response (since no one will read it there):
If Obama doesn’t believe in a strong national defense, what does he believe in? Making America weaker? Helping our enemies?
Am I the only one willing to actually come out and say “sure” and “sure” to these questions?
Obama, like most of the left, indeed believes in making America weaker and helping our enemies. (Except that “enemies” goes in quotes because we are not to acknowledge having any.) Why is this so hard to believe?
Put it this way: “national defense”, as the U.S. uses it anyway, is about autonomy of actions. When you have a “strong national defense” this means nothing more or less than that you have a large freedom of action in geopolitics. “Weak national defense”, then, means the opposite: you are more constrained by others and less autonomous.
This is indeed what the left wants. Why would you think otherwise?
Obama wants a minimalist national defense that removes a lot of possible actions from the field of play, takes them off the table as Things We Can Do. The people proposing those Things, therefore, will be disenfranchised and disempowered. This process will inevitably focus attention, spending, and political battlegrounds in the domestic arena. People (voters and policymakers) will focus less on achieving foreign policy goals of any kind and more on inward-looking, hedonistic, and insular goals (read, socialized health care and so on) – in other words, taking foreign policy autonomy off the table by engineering weak national defense will make more achievable, and indeed lead to, more left-wing governance and policies.
Yes: left-wingers want more left-wing policies and fewer right-wing policies. Is that supposed to be a big secret? Is it impolite to state the obvious now?