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While most of America sits on the sidelines and watches a small number of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire give a couple candidates the boost that may be required to actually win the White House, the world also sits on the sidelines and evidently waits while holding its breath.
Now we're hearing from the editor of Foreign Affairs magazine that the world wants America back. He writes:
"The demand is for an America… that comes up with innovative initiatives to tackle the great challenges of the day, such as climate change, nuclear proliferation and violent Islamist fundamentalism. …Naturally, the world also wants a superpower willing to foot the bill with a largess that no other nation can match."
Can you imagine the gall? Meet a list of world demands for American involvement, pay the huge bill as we always do, and then hope the world approves. Pardon me for not thinking this sounds very appealing.
The world wanted us to save them from the Soviets. We did. The world wanted us to do something about Saddam. We did, and then the world decided we did a bad thing because we didn't ask their permission for each and every step in doing what needed to be done.
I think a pre-requisite in any candidate would be a healthy disdain for what the world wants. My perfect candidate would be polite but firm: We will take into account what the rest of you have to say, but you don't get the final word, even if you are threatening your disapproval and your condemnation.
As for paying, well, we pay for the defense of the free world. Has anybody in Europe, except for the British, paid anything in the way of defense for their own populations and borders? No. Has Canada bothered to pony up for its own defense? No.
To my dismay, all too many American candidates for president are saying they care about what the world thinks. I hope this is one of those cases where they are lying.
That's My Word.
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