Last week I discussed the issues that concern voters the most and will likely decide their choices––inflation, rampant crime, and our porous southern border, as well as cultural-war issues such as transgenderism and school curricula. But there are other concerns with the policies and actions of the Democrats over the last two years that also might figure in voters’ calculations.
Foreign policy typically is not as urgent for voters as the economy, crime, or border security. Yet our actions and policies abroad necessarily impact our national security, though not as immediately as inflation hits our budgets or crime disrupts our lives. But we need to pay attention, for the current administration has weakened our national security and compromised our national interests by resorting to tired foreign-policy nostrums, feckless actions, and sheer neglect.
Most obvious is the shameful, hasty abandonment of our allies and assets in Afghanistan. We stranded hundreds of Americans, left behind thousands of Afghanistan allies, and squandered billions in military hardware and infrastructure. Worse, we returned to power the brutal Taliban, who nurtured and sheltered the perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocity. Now Iran, a genocidal theocrasy with 43 years of American blood on its hands, has filled the vacuum along with other jihadist outfits like ISIS and al Qaeda.
Speaking of Iran, the Biden administration is still pursuing a renewal of Obama’s flawed nuclear deal that transferred billions of dollars to the mullahs, lucre they have used to finance their terrorist adventurism in the Middle East. Meanwhile, their advanced centrifuges keep spinning enough enriched uranium to make nuclear bombs, at the same time they are developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering them. Biden exacerbated this blunder by alienating Iran’s enemies such as our allies like Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations in the region.
Despite Biden’s cringing, his negotiators have been treated contemptuously on the world stage by the mullahs, who emboldened by Biden’s desperate deference, continue to make impossible demands, as they buy more time to reach their goals. Finally, since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war, Iran has moved closer to Russia and China, forming a triumvirate of evil ambitions to challenge the U.S. and its allies as the guarantor of global order.
These blunders in part reflect the stale orthodoxy of the “rules-based international order” that prizes “soft power” and “diplomatic engagement,” no matter how often these fail in the face of ruthless aggressors. Donald Trump understood this obvious truth that weakness invites aggression. He pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal, and punished the regime with kinetic retaliation, most spectacularly by executing the revered commander of Iran’s expeditionary Quds Force. But Biden’s actions squandered the prestige and deterrent power he inherited from Trump’s realist policies.
It was said of the Roman general Sulla that there was “no better friend, and no worse enemy” than he. In two years Biden has made America no worse friend, and no better enemy, a dangerous change given China’s ambitions to replace the U.S. and the West as the global hegemon.
In response to such criticism, many commentators trot out Biden’s alleged skill and vigor in uniting NATO members to resist Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine. But such praise ignores the real question: Why was Russia allowed to position unchallenged its invasion force on Ukraine’s border? The U.S. and NATO can thump their chest over its tough rhetoric, and the latter’s promises to finally start spending more on their militaries. We will see if this born-again militarism survives the winter without Russian natural gas.
But doing the right thing too late, when earlier action could’ve checked the slaughter before it began, should not earn congratulations. And remember, it was on Obama and Biden’s watch in 2014 that Putin annexed Crimea and made its first moves against eastern Ukraine. That was the moment to confront Putin, if indeed the same people now supporting more money and materiel for Ukraine really believed he was such dangerous threat that they’re willing to risk a nuclear war.
Finally, the Biden administration has neglected our defense budget, leaving our military the weakest it’s been in decades. The Navy and Airforce are woefully lagging in necessary expansion and upgrades of materiel, while all the services are failing to meet their recruitment quotas.
There are several reasons for the latter, including poor physical fitness and cognitive skills among eligible young people. But having the Pentagon kick out the unvaccinated and subject our armed forces to preposterous training in divisive “systemic racism” and transgenderism propaganda will not make military service attractive, particularly to those young men from families where military service is a long tradition.
Of course, the skimping on military budgets and spending on weapons is not solely the fault of Democrats. Democracies are notorious for preferring butter to guns, and being shortsighted when it comes to preparing for threats that are farther off than the next election.
But the current administration has reversed Donald Trump’s efforts to start correcting this neglect, policies which Biden and the Dems have abandoned in the last two years. And in some cases, as with subjecting military personnel to partisan “woke” ideology, they have reached new lows of degradation of our military’s foundational mission to defend our security and interests. As a result, our prestige has been weakened, and our militaries underfunded.
Another more insidious danger has been increased by the current leadership––the undermining of the bedrock principle of the 14th Amendment: the “equal protection of the laws.” Violating this precept is the essence of tyranny, and upholding it strengthens a bulwark of our freedom.
The unequal application of the laws, though nothing new, has accelerated dangerously over the last six years. The powerful police and investigative powers of federal agencies like the DOJ and FBI have been transformed into the Democrats’ political muscle. Such corruption has occurred in the past, but nothing like this level of arrogant and shameful openness, or with such brazen advocacy by the mainstream media.
The Russia collusion hoax is one of the most shameful scandals in our history. Millions of dollars and two years were wasted on a special prosecutor’s investigation that determined what most of us knew from the start. The so-called Steele dossier, with its lurid and preposterous rumors and hearsay, had been exposed long before Mueller publicized his grudging acknowledgement of Trump’s innocence.
But what made this partisan theater even more insulting is that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Hillary, remember, had been exposed for violating laws governing the handling of top-secret documents, and using an unsecured server that was likely hacked by several foreign intelligence agencies. Her minions, moreover, destroyed evidence of her crimes, while she made jokes and the press showed a studied indifference to her criminal behavior. And of course she didn’t see the FBI show up at her home with heavily armed agents and CNN in tow.
Yet despite that glaring partisan double standard, that gross violation of equality under the law, the Dems and their media PR firms continue to hound Donald Trump over alleged crimes, the House twice voting articles of impeachment, and ginning up the January 6 “insurrection” that the desperate Dems have tried to pin on Trump––all culminating in the historically unprecedented FBI raid on an ex-president’s private home.
Despite the failure of two impeachments, the House has continued to spend months on Hollywood-produced “hearings” that have trafficked in hearsay and second-hand rumors, and excluded any Republican who would have cross-examined witnesses and exposed the hearings as a show-trial. The “bipartisan” label on the hearings amounted to two fifth-columnist Republicans suffering from terminal Trump-Derangement syndrome.
And don’t forget the glaring hypocrisy and inequality before the law exposed by the ongoing political incarceration and trials of January 6 protestors at the Capitol, where the only unnatural death was a petite, unarmed woman, a veteran, shot by an incompetent D.C. cop who is still unpunished. Compare that with the mere handful of antifa thugs prosecuted for the previous summer’s four months of arson, looting, vandalism, and assaults that left over two dozen citizens dead.
Then there’s the Hunter Biden laptop with its documented evidence of his family’s corruption, including the president. It was put in the deep-freeze by the FBI in order to protect Joe Biden and the Dems before the 2020 election. Since then, the FBI continues its slow-motion “investigation” that is highly unlikely to lead to the FBI raiding Hunter’s home, or even an indictment.
But the DOJ does have the FBI surveilling and investigating parents exercising their First Amendment rights to hold school boards accountable; and raiding with automatic weapons and body-armor the homes of pro-life activists, while ignoring pro-abortionists fire-bombing pro-life counseling offices. This disparity bespeaks an indifference to our unalienable rights these agencies have sworn to uphold––a disregard for the Constitution similar to that of the “woke” Stasi on social media who “cancel,” hound, libel, and silence dissidents.
Bob Dole famously asked, “Where’s the outrage?” Not just over rampant inequality before the law and a politicized DOJ and FBI, but also over the other bloated, unaccountable federal agencies and bureaus that usurp, Congress’s Article 1 powers. Why? To create laws and regulations that expand the Feds’ reach, threatening our freedom and burdening our economy with rules that benefit the federal Leviathan and its clients.
But we the people still have a Constitutional power––the right to vote in regularly scheduled elections. Soon those of us who cherish freedom and American exceptionalism will have an opportunity to slow down the dismantling of our Constitution and the degradation of our unalienable rights and freedom.
The outcome of this “time for choosing,” as Ronald Reagan put it in 1964, will decide the answer to the ancient question I raised last week: Do the people have the capacity to rule themselves?