Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Wrong Kennedy at the Wrong Time

In today's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert asked guest Ted Kennedy about a line in a speech Kennedy made last September, in which he said, "I thank God that President Bush was not our President at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis".

Of course, Kennedy intended to suggest Bush is a shoot-first "cowboy" president, instigating military aggression that puts this nation in danger. His brother, President John F. Kennedy, handled the Cuban Missile Crisis in such a way as to avoid nuclear war. And the reckless Bush, we are believe, would have caused such a war.

I well remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, being the son of a U. S. Air Force officer at the time. Even at the tender age of 12, the danger was apparent. But I also recall that the crisis was precipitated by the installation of nuclear missiles on Cuban soil by the USSR. And the missiles were a direct response to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

Bay of Pigs, remember that one? Yes, an abortive attempt to invade Cuba by guerilla fighters trained and equipped by the United States. Under the authorization of none other than John F. Kennedy.

Remember how JFK said of the missile crisis that "U.S. and USSR stood eyeball to eyeball and...the other fellow blinked"? Kennedy was the one who blinked.

Prior to the missile crisis, JFK approved the Bay of Pigs invasion and, at the last minute, failed to provide promised air support. The invasion was doomed, turned into a rout, and led directly to the missile confrontation for which we praise JFK so highly. Kennedy lied, Cubans died, we might say in today's era of hyperbole.

And the price of the "blink"? We had to remove our missiles from Turkey, giving up a strategic advantage in the Cold War that was never really made up until Ronald Reagan decided to just win the thing.

I don't particularly criticize JFK's presidency. He was, unlike his kid brother, fundamentally protective of the United States. He had an aggressive, anti-communist foreign policy, promoted lower taxes and was philosophically closer to current conservative Republicans than any Democrat since.

But, let's not rewrite history. Kennedy blinked, and had to scramble to avoid war. And the price we paid was very high. Cowboy? Hip-shooter?

Had George Bush been president during the JFK era, I suspect the Cuba invasion either would not have happened at all, or would have been entirely successful. And we might have a free Cuba today.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Simple, not simplistic

There is a huge difference between simple, and simplistic, as today's Democrats have not learned. As George Bush somehow manages to continue to accrue political capital even as he spends it, his "loyal" opposition keeps grasping for explanations. And they come up short every time.

After the election, in which polls suggested Bush was propelled to victory largely by "values voters", the moonbat Lefties immediately started spouting biblical phrases, as though a few religious buzzwords would somehow convince American voters that the Left has values, too. Of course, voters are not buying it. Too simplistic.

They have convinced themselves Bush is an idiot. Feeding the public twisted propaganda and falsely framed poll results, like coke-dealing ghetto pimps they cannot resist sampling their own wares. The result is irrational mouthings of people like Barbara Boxer. "She turned and attacked me!" Revealingly simplistic and mindless.

If Bush is indeed stupid, then how can he possibly beat those geniuses on the Left? Where an simple, obvious explanation would do, the Left seeks an irrational, simplistic answer. To wit, Bush is dumb, but American voters are even dumber. John Kerry insisted polls showed Americans thought we were on "the wrong track", yet for some reason they voted for Bush anyway. "How can we lose to this idiot?", they seemed to wonder.

The Leftist core that runs the party is so far to the left, they have deluded themselves into believing the average American voter is a far-right radical. Yet, when voters repeatedly inform them they are wrong, the Left just digs in deeper, fooling itself right out of power.

How far out of touch are the Democrats? Well, let's just take an informal survey, reviewing recent history.

How many Democrats condemned the words of Michael Moore, Whoopie Goldberg, Janeane Garofolo or other Hollywood Leftists during the last campaign? Basically, none.

How many Democrats applauded the vitriolic spew of that radical crowd? Lots.

How many Democrats insist there were voting "irregularities" in Ohio, and insist minority voters were disenfranchised? How many scream, "Every vote must be counted"? Lots.

How many Democrats decry voter fraud in Washington state, where more votes were counted than voters were registered, in at least one county? Or where thousands of dead people voted? None.

Democrats are not democrats. Certainly not when it comes to Iraq, where they insist the revolutionary election was not legitimate because Islamic Fascists were not properly represented.

If Democrats were truly "centrists", in any sense of the word, at least some measurable number of them would be howling over the insane meanderings of such party luminaries as Ted Kennedy and Nancy "frozen face" Pelosi. But, when the Senator from Chappaquiddick insists once again we are still in Vietnam, the first thing out of Democratic mouths is "first amendment". "He has the right..." Not, "he is not right", or "get him right out of here".

When the only defense of a politician is to shroud him in the first amendment, you know someone is on thin ice.

Most of the answers to our problems are actually quite simple, at their core. Problems tend to be the result of conflicting broad forces that affect us all as humans. Ego, greed, love and hate are human characteristics that have been with us since the dawn of human existence.

Answers to our biggest problems therefore tend to be equally ageless: freedom, democracy, strong defense, education, free markets, and so forth. George Bush understands this and appeals to that intuitive sense we all have. He does not want to change human nature, he wants to harness it.

So why does the Left insist on making ridiculous arguments? Offering simplistic, mindless explanations for things we all understand well enough? It's simple: they don't see human nature as unchanging. Marxism is founded on the premise that human nature is malleable, so scientific socialism grew out of the premise we can engineer the species.

Most of us understand you cannot do this. Humans will certainly respond to their environment, will adapt as best they can to whatever is imposed on them. But our nature never changes, and that is why socialism has never succeeded and has only added to human misery every time it has been tried. Social engineering simply does not work.

But Democrats and their Leftist, Marxist core cannot grasp this truth. They are convinced we can be made better, somehow. Less greedy, less corrupt. Altruistic. Nicer.

Conservatives generally understand that our faults are baked right into our souls. We can individually overcome our weaknesses. But we cannot eliminate them altogether, either personally or collectively. If we did not have our egos, we would die. We would not bother to eat, and would never reproduce. Our faults are there to keep us alive.

There is much more to be said about human nature and economic and political behaviour. But for now, let's just note that the Left has one understanding of nature, and the Right has quite a different understanding.

Who is right? I suspect you already have that answer. It's simple, but not simplistic.

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