While most people agree ISIS must be defeated at all costs, there is a wide opinion gap with respect to the incoming Syrian refugees, and an even wider gap on foreign policy and preventive medicine. The Paris attacks have shifted the focal point of presidential debate and the people’s juxtapositions in the arena we call Decision 2016 from the economy, labor practices, and minimum wage requirements, to counterterrorism and concrete foreign policy.
There are many reasons why I, as loyal as I am or claim to be to the Republican Party, will never be a Trump supporter. He was floundering in the polls and Carson and Rubio were rising before the Paris attack. After the massacre, Trump has a commanding lead again. In the aftermath of a horrific tragedy in the world, the Low Information Americans want to hear somebody talk tough and that is exactly what The Donald is doing right now. Details to his suggested policies suggest they torture us so we have the right to torture them. That defies every principle America was founded on and although we could possibly be a safer place, America would forever lose its identity as the world example for freedom and human rights. The Bible says and eye for an eye, but we cannot blind everyone and sustain as an operable nation.
Ironically, the politician who makes the most sense about how to handle ISIS is President Barrack Obama. But why is that? Like the man with nothing but the shirt on his back, there is a principle for human existence that reads go ahead and risk everything if you have nothing to lose. If the Office of President of the United States were not restricted by term limits, Obama would run for a third term and would take a far more aggressive approach to screening refugees and other immigrants. He would never issue an executive order to defer deportation of illegal Mexican immigrants in his first term as it would jeopardize the re-election to the second term. He broke a promise to get all troupes in Afghanistan home before his term expires, and unfortunately, he made the right decision. But he is in the penultimate year of his presidency and has nothing to worry about broken promises and unpopular policies now because he had no option to run for a third term and he has nothing to lose. Hilary Clinton and ten Republicans are shackled to the rhetoric in their respective party platforms; otherwise they cannot get elected or nominated by their party.
As for the exoneration of George W. Bush, I am referring to the shift from the age old foreign policy of second strike only to the use of a pre-emptive strike. George W. Bush picked Iraq, in retrospect, the wrong nation. But the rise of ISIS, the threats to the United States, and the way they use technology and social media not available to Adolph Hitler, Hideki Tojo, or even Ayatolla Ruhollah Khomeini as recently as 1980, the pre-emptive strike seems to have public opinion on its side, unlike in 1941 when Franklin Roosevelt waited for Pearl Harbor to send American soldiers to World War II. Vladimir Putin is doing that right now and although it took a tragedy, France is on board with us and Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain should follow suite shortly. I can remember less than ten years ago when we had to call french fries freedom fries due to France’s indifference to our 9-11 attacks. Yes, it seems one-sided, but that is the price we pay to be the world’s super-power.
In so far as the topic of conversation has shifted from the homeland to the world, let us not forget the importance of balancing the budget. Going forward, it is the only way we can maintain our strength in the world. As Warren G. Harding once said, it is good to drink from the fountain inherited to us from our Founding Fathers. Drink from the fountain to inherit their wisdom, but not emulate them to the letter as, with all due respect to George Washington, we cannot go back to the policies of isolationism and no permanent alliances. But we must be careful never to sacrifice liberty for security; another Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, warned us of that.