Friday, March 11, 2011

Inspiration Without Intervention

Daniel Henninger makes a neo-neocon argument for the U.S. doing more to support democracy in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East, saying:
Soviet-era dissidents have said and written that among the things that sustained them was that their heads were filled with the ideas drawn from America's freedoms.
And yet note that we didn't send in troops.
Hat tip to John Bode

1 comment:

MK said...

As important as Reagan's words were to Soviet era dissidents, it's important to note a key difference between then and now. Perhaps Henninger does (as a non-subscriber, I couldn't read his entire post, only the first few sentences). In the Internet age, what President Obama's opponents are saying about him is much more visible than in Reagan's day. Things that some more agitated people perhaps used to mutter in barroom conversations now are splashed throughout the message boards associated with GOP and conservative sites. The right is much more timid than in Reagan's day, you don't the most important opinion leaders pushing back against some of the corrosive nonsense. Some even jump into the mud and add to it.

And then there are the polls that show half of GOP primary voters don't believe Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen or a Christian. These things signal -- as Rush Limbaugh actually has come out and said on some domestic policy issues -- don't listen to him, don't believe him, he doesn't mean what he says.

Whatever the current administration might say, it would be said in a much more corrosive atmosphere than in Reagan's day. There are an awful lot of people out there who don't seem to understand that in the way they argue policy differences between the parties, they're actually signally, "we don't believe in two parties." In my view, they're much less patriotic than people with similar views were in Reagan's day because they're largely tribal, rather nation oriented. Some even seem to be cheering for the U.S. to fail in everything it atttempts to do, something which used to be a charge thrown against the other side (the left).

It's a huge problem for the rightwing punditocracy, that anti-small d democratic vibe. I tend to laugh and dismiss as "sore looserism" the worst of the nonsense because I can see what's what lies at its core. (People unable to cope with election results that led to their party not being in control.) But to some extent, it might hurt us abroad because outsiders may not understand the calculation and seeming cycnicism that lies behind the statements that the Limbaugh-type radio guys make.