JUL
26
2005
Do As We Say, Not As We Do. Or Die.

Make no mistake, everyone who is involved in (American) politics, whether professionally or intellectually, wants to be the President (of the United States); even if only for a day. My problem is that I am, and always have been, totally unelectable–never won an election, probably never will.

For one thing, Americans will vote for blacks and gays and even Jews, but they won’t vote for atheists. And they also won’t vote for pacifists (more about that later). For example, I just took the widely linked political compass test and apparently, I’m to the left of Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, which tells you all you’ll ever need to know about my chances in a Democratic primary. So, as the example of Toby Ziegler on the West Wing points out so elegantly, the best we secular lefty Jews can hope for is Presidential speechwriter.

Here is the section of my inaugural address draft concerning foreign policy in 2009. Doubtless some Christian aide will be charged with finding some relevant Bible quotes.

“We need a doctrine that works better than the one we’re using now. We need our foreign policy to work better. We must have a just policy in world affairs. We can no longer let our actions give the lie to our promises to protect freedom.

The distance between our rhetoric–the speeches, the press releases the magazine articles–and our actions–where the money goes, the regimes we support, the weapons we sell–is exactly reflected in the damage we cause by breaking our vows. When we support dictators in the name of freedom, we ensure freedom will never prevail. When we have done so, it has always ended in tragedy. We cannot win a game by helping the other side cheat. Giving support to dictators only enables them to extend their control. If we are really going to help the people of the world, we need to stop supplying their enemies.

The Declaration of Independence says that “in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth.” It does not say two peoples, or one acting on behalf of another. We must recognize the wisdom of the founders in this document. They told us, over two centuries ago, that democracy comes from below, from the people themselves!

We cannot install democracy at gun-point. We need to respect and aid national self-determination. We need to support democracy without poisoning its chances to grow.

We all know, deep in our hearts, that it is in our national interest to act justly. We speak of spreading democracy, while at the same time, we prop up the enemies of freedom around the world because we have been convinced by previous administrations that it suits our interests when clearly, it does not.

So, I will propose a new doctrine; no monetary or military support to those who oppose democracy and human rights, and no attempts to force democracy on others. We can no longer afford to support dictators and human rights violators. I propose that we eliminate foreign aid to any state which has been proven to systematically abuse human rights.

Make no mistake; this is not an imposition of our values upon foreign peoples. It is a way to get right with ourselves, to ensure our actions are always based on the simple beliefs which make America great. That the moral guidance, the wisdom imparted by our tradition trusts in the people, not in the force of a government jackboot.

Our troops must be ready to serve in war, and now the global reality tells us they must be as ready to act to protect peace. Forcing our ideals on others poisons them towards accepting our ideals in our hearts. We cannot inspire love through fear, only hatred can grow from such fear.

We can no longer afford to tell the world, ‘do as we say, not as we do.’ If America is to regain the moral authority it once commanded in the world, we must lead by example.”




 

 
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