I just finished reading the New York Times best seller by @Charles Krauthammer’s, Things That Matters. It was real an enjoyable experience reading radical right wing political positions in an intellectual frame. I get so tired of reading the Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh idiocy and listening to the Fox distortions, I was really beginning to wonder if that was the sum of modern conservatism. Krauthammer fashioned a new interesting insight into social as well as economic matters. Unfortunately, he lowered himself to the Glenn Beck level a few times in trashing liberal politicians; that is something conservatives must do for membership in this exclusive wing of the party and a way of selling articles.
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I would suggest he missed the entire thrust of the Obama’s “neo liberalism” that guides his foreign policy. Apparently, Krauthammer bases his entire analysis of American foreign policy on an innate human respect for fear of power. From a pure “adaption to environment through natural selection” point of view, this is bestial; it is the basis of realpolitik. In that world, the guy with the biggest stick wins after a bloody confrontation. The best we can hope for in that world is glaring stand off. Fortune smiled on us. We became the sole surviving superpower almost by default. Somewhere in our history, we adopted democracy and capitalism and they adopted communism. We had the cockfight called the cold war that ended though economic collapse of USSR. The whole world watched what happened and knew why. Democracy won until Citizens United, that is.
Woodrow Wilson, in the 1919 peace conference, tried to influence the world with his call for self-determination. The conservatives heckled his efforts and that was what Krauthammer was doing in his book. The world conservatives wanted money over substance—we won and Germany lost so we righteously wanted every dollar we could squeeze out of them. Wilson League of Nations was liberal nonsense to the right wing. Read the conservative press about the United Nations and you will see the exact same arguments used by Lodge used again by Krauthammer; “we will not give up our sovereignty”. “We will not weaken ourselves.” All we have to do is spend a big part of our GDP on big guns—did I mention we already spend ten times more than the other top 10 countries on defense. The Battleship Missouri, that “true symbol of might will float again!” Remember the picture of the half-demented President in baseball cap at the helm of the Missouri after it was taken out of mothballs; to “restore the United States to the power it should be”. What he really meant, “So the world will be frighten of us”.
Obama is spreading democracy through respect and not fear. Krauthammer sees that as being naive. In his mind, hegemony is power. Countries do business with us because they must; that is moral order just as the family is a man, a subservient woman, and obedient children is moral order. I would like to remind him that every classroom in the nation has a trained teacher yet there is order. There is order because students respect their teachers; they don’t fear them. What do you expect? Krauthammer is a brilliant man, but he is a conservative.