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Peter Ferrara: President Obama Chooses Decline for America

Roundup: Media's Take




[Peter Ferrara is director of entitlement and budget policy at the Institute for Policy Innovation, and general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under the first President Bush.]

"Decline Is a Choice: The New Liberalism and the End of American Ascendancy." That was the title of the devastating critique of Obama Administration foreign, defense, and domestic policies delivered by Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer at the annual Wriston Lecture at the Manhattan Institute in New York City on October 5.

Krauthammer responds to commentators arguing that America is suffering overdue, inevitable decline, saying, "For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice. Two decades into the unipolar world that came about with the fall of the Soviet Union, America is in the position of deciding whether to abdicate or retain its dominance. Decline -- or continued ascendancy -- is in our hands."

And what are our leaders deciding? Krauthammer quite correctly explains, "The current liberal ascendancy in the United States -- controlling the executive and both houses of Congress, dominating the media and elite culture -- has set us on a course for decline. And this is true for both foreign and domestic policies."

President Obama and the ultraliberal leadership of Congress are now pursuing policies that will by design produce major declines in the standard of living of the American people. They are pursuing a foreign policy of worldwide retreat. They are actively tearing down our nation's defenses. Krauthammer is sounding the alarm for the American people to wake up.

America: Just Another Country

In pursuit of this policy of decline, President Obama is traveling the world over denying the fundamental morality of American world leadership. Krauthammer said:

The current foreign policy of the United States is an exercise in contraction. It begins with the demolition of the moral foundation of American dominance. [P]resident Obama was asked about American exceptionalism. His answer? "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Interesting response. Because if everyone is exceptional, no one is.

Translating Obama's quoted language into plain English, what he is saying is that there is nothing special about America. Everything he says and does is consistent with that view.

Krauthammer continues:

[A]s he made his hajj from Strasbourg to Prague to Ankara to Istanbul to Cairo and finally to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama drew the picture of an America quite exceptional -- exceptional in moral culpability and heavy-handedness, exceptional in guilt for its treatment of other nations and peoples….Obama indicted his own country for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness (toward Europe), for maltreatment of natives, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantanamo, for unilateralism, and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world. Quite an indictment, the fundamental consequence of which is to effectively undermine any moral claim that America might have to world leadership.

Krauthammer further notes that in denouncing the idea that any nation or group of nations should be elevated above any other, Obama has effectively dismissed as well the moral standing and leadership of the UN Security Council, the G-20, and the Western Alliance. In denouncing "alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of the long gone Cold War" as making "no sense in an interconnected world," Obama has effectively dismissed any moral authority or leadership for NATO as well.

Krauthammer concludes: "This is nonsense. But it is not harmless nonsense. It's nonsense with a point. It reflects a fundamental view that the only legitimate authority in the international system is that which emanates from 'the community of nations' as a whole," of which America is only one nation among many. In other words, the only legitimate moral authority for world leadership is a body like the UN General Assembly, with its assorted tyrants and kooks, where America is just another country. This is the moral vision of the man we elected President, Barack Hussein Obama.

As Krauthammer further explains:

For what might be called the New Liberalism, the renunciation of [American] power is rooted…in the conviction that America is so intrinsically flawed, so inherently and congenitally sinful that it cannot be trusted with, and does not merit, the possession of overarching world power. For the New Liberalism, it is not just that power corrupts. It is that America itself is corrupt -- in the sense of being deeply flawed, and with the history to prove it.

Indeed, Obama showed disdain for America before the whole world when he said in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 24, "For those who question the character and cause of my nation, I ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months." So in America's entire history, from Washington to Jefferson to Lincoln to FDR to Reagan, what is praiseworthy about America for the whole world to see is the last nine months under the Glorious Leadership of Our Dear Leader, the Messiah. Of course, the humble Obama said at the beginning of that speech, "I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world."

President Obama then goes on in that speech seemingly to renounce America, quoting FDR approvingly as saying, "We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community." In other words, Obama views himself as a citizen of the world, which is not the same thing as being an American in that world.

America's Worldwide Retreat

Ideas have consequences, and the notion that America is just another country among all the others with no moral basis for world leadership leads to concrete changes in policy. Krauthammer explains...
Read entire article at American Spectator

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