Wednesday, February 11, 2004

What Happened to the Dems (or Why I Became a Neo-Con)

Jonah Goldberg's article in today's NRO points to a story in the current New Yorker by George Packer. Packer blasts Bush for failing "to make the struggle to liberalize the Muslim world the concern of ordinary Americans." (Packer's recommendation: high school exchange-student programs. Really. I'm not kidding.) But, the article still manages to stumble into the truth, and it perfectly captures why I became a Republican:
Vietnam, of course, badly divided Democrats, turning some into Republicans and others into pacifists. And here is a remarkable fact: since the nineteen-sixties, the Democratic Party has had no foreign policy. Its leaders have continued to speak the language of liberal internationalism, but after Vietnam most Democrats haven’t wanted to back up the talk with power. They continued to put their faith in institutions like the United Nations (where Saddam’s Iraq was a member in good standing and Libya chaired the human-rights commission) long after it was apparent that these institutions needed repair. By the nineteen-nineties, liberal internationalism had become an atrophied muscle, with little fibre or sinew left.
Proposed John Kerry slogan: vote for the party without a backbone.

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