I always hate having to say “I told you so!” You know why? Because it means that something happened that I didn’t want to happen but was unable to prevent from happening.
FOCUSING ON WHAT IS RATHER THAN WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BUT NEVER WILL BE
The President of the United States is also Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces. Therefore, we can also have only one person in charge of our military.
Yes, certainly Congress shares responsibilities. But our country has not had a formal Declaration of War since World War II.
As unreliable and viciously political as it is, Congress still should be and must be consulted before the commencement of hostilities, which by definition are irrevocable and irreversible, with potentially dire consequences.
Hopefully, some of that is going on right now behind the scenes behind locked doors without TV cameras or Twitter phones present. We the People need not be privy to every such classified discussion. Unfortunately, when our government tells us as U.S. citizens, they also declare to the enemy and the world-at-large their intentions and contingencies.
It’s fair to say that every President in my lifetime has made decisions that in retrospect would have been better if done differently.
Truman and General Douglas MacArthur, when they met on Wake island in the Pacific, could have reached some kind of accord to better handle the Korean War.
Ike who was the Five-Star General for Operation Overlord on D-Day got us out of North Korea, but with only an armistice and not a treaty, so the issues persist today.
JFK stared down Khrushchev and resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis, but he wasn’t able to head off the coming quagmire in Vietnam.
LBJ successfully painted Goldwater as a warmonger, then he led us into a conflict in Southeast Asia he had neither the guts nor the brains to carry through the victory.
Nixon got us out of Vietnam, after 58,000 deaths and a generation of shattered lives, without honor or victory.
Ford, who was never elected as either President or VP, made a faux pas in debating Carter in not acknowledging the Iron Curtain across Europe.
Carter’s undermining of the Shah and impotence in the face of the Ayatollah are a low point in American history.
Reagan was instrumental in the demise of the Soviet Union, but he never really avenged the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut or of the Marine Barracks.
Bush 41 as a lame duck got us into Somalia which led to Black Hawk Down.
Bill Clinton mishandled Bosnia and failed to get UBL before 9/11 could happen. He also was lethargic in responding to the USS Cole incident.
Dubya didn’t handle the Hainan incident with China well, falsely exonerated Islam after 9/11, and led to the decimation of the Christian Community in Iraq.
From the outset to the end of his administration, Barack was an unmitigated disaster. Benghazi may be most egregious, but his other foreign policy failings are too voluminous to go into now.
The coming and perhaps imminent conflict with Iran is attributable to Carter’s ineptitude and Obama’s malfeasance.
After serving on active duty during the Vietnam era, I also was in the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1980 at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii and fully expected to be called up to active duty for service in the Middle East against Iran.
That was 39 years ago and this untenable situation has been festering in Tehran ever since. Now it is incumbent upon our current Commander-in-Chief and POTUS with no military service of his own to hope he listens to the right advisors. As we all hope he does.
ASSESSING THE PRESENT
What concerns me now are both the politicians and the pundits who feel totally comfortable in adapting the armchair quarterback mindset that works for NFL & NCAA games to real life war and peace issues. Back in Tolstoy’s day, War and Peace didn’t have to be concisely expressed in 280 characters or less to fit into a middle of the night tweet.
Is Donald Trump the most capable person to be dealing with what the United States is facing right now in serious simultaneous threats ~ some might say deliberately tandem threats ~ that may prove to be existential in nature?
Asking that question is perfectly legitimate. But we must admit that it is a rhetorical question. We all have only one President and Commander-in-Chief at a time. Right now his name is Trump.
Calling him a liar, a predator or a rotten businessman who considers deal-making an objective in and of itself, really is counterproductive at this juncture in human history. If we as conservatives take that tack, who is our audience and what is our purpose?
Would one of the other GOP candidates be doing a better job in the White House today? Some probably would, others would not. But, it honestly does not matter. He won. They lost.
LOOKING AHEAD WITH HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
So at this point, my concerns are twofold.
First, in the immediate future, President Trump must deal effectively with the threats from Iran and China, along with those posed by Russia and North Korea and others.
Second, as conservatives we have to realistically ask ourselves whether any Democrat would be survivable as POTUS 46 as early as Inauguration Day 2021.
“Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981….”
For those of us old enough to remember, the fact is not lost on us that Iran released the Americans from captivity just as Republican Ronald Reagan was taking the Oath of Office to replace Democrat Jimmy Carter. Had Carter won, your guess is as good as mine how that incident would have played out.
There are going to be on-going foreign policy imperatives when Donald Trump’s term ends. Does any conservative really want to risk putting any progressive in the position of getting that 3 a.m. phone call?
So, this next election is not a referendum on whether you like Donald Trump or you don’t like Donald Trump. It is a decision as to whom you want to entrust with the future of America.
REACHING VIABLE CONCLUSIONS
We’ve only been talking about foreign policy and national security here. But when you consider the whole picture with the active and aggressive social re-engineering of society by Democrat Progressive Socialists into a perverse caricature of these United States, the only valid conclusion I can recommend to you is that Trump is better than the alternative.
If this isn’t the full-throated endorsement you were hoping for, rest assured it’s the best you’re going to get from me. My vote is not for sale to anyone. Not ever.
I like some things Trump has done. I don’t like other things he has done. But, it’s unlikely a real conservative is going to mount a primary challenge. Therefore, look closely at all the Democrat contenders and listen carefully to what they’re saying.
You can actually wait until after the Democrat National Convention in Milwaukee next year and limit your scrutiny to whoever emerges victorious. Then consider what life in this country would be with him or her occupying the Oval Office. I think most of you will agree with my conclusion that it’s better to stay the course with the man from New Yawk who now has an established track record.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Reviewing as I did what our Presidents for the last 70 years have faced and how their records are seen through 20/20 hindsight (a term that now takes on a double entendre), I think we can be more objective in assessing the incumbent. History has been kind to some of his predecessors and less generous to others.
How the Trump Administration will fit into the American kaleidoscope that has survived and thrived for over two centuries will be assessed by future generations after we are but a fond memory. He won’t be forgotten like Buchanan or Harding. Nor will he be on the venerable scale of Jefferson and Lincoln or even Reagan.
What President Trump does in the coming hours, days, weeks and months will determine both his legacy and the well-being of all Americans everywhere. It is therefore in the interest of all of us, including Democrats though they will deny it, to stand together and respect the one and only person who is now President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the most benevolent superpower which has ever existed on the face of the Earth.
PRESERVING OUR UNITY IN THESE UNITED STATES
If things go kinetic against Iran and/or China, we better all be on the same side not divided by political ambitions. That Kumbaya moment on the Capitol steps after 9/11 faded all too quickly.
Ours is not a parliamentary form of government where a lack of confidence vote can call a snap election. There will not be an impeachment, conviction and removal from office. But let’s don’t become a banana republic in which opposing factions refuse to accept and recognize the authority of legitimate power.
Democrats have had their chance repeatedly. Undoubtedly, they will someday have it again. But it is not now.
God Bless America!