Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
McCain quoted Harry Truman: “God has created us and brought us to our present position of power and strength for some great purpose." And McCain asserted that that great purpose at that time was “to contain Communism and build the structures of peace and prosperity that could provide safe passage through the Cold War.”
But now we face a different world, because during Truman’s time we were the only democratic superpower. Now “[t]here is the powerful collective voice of the European Union, and there are the great nations of India and Japan, Australia and Brazil, South Korea and South Africa, Turkey and Israel, to name just a few of the leading democracies.” This new collective along with new technologies that have come into existence changes the nature of the balance of power.
He asserted that therefore “In such a world, where power of all kinds is more widely and evenly distributed, the United States cannot lead by virtue of its power alone. We must be strong politically, economically, and militarily.” We must attract others to our cause “by demonstrating once again the virtues of freedom and democracy, by defending the rules of international civilized society and by creating the new international institutions necessary to advance the peace and freedoms we cherish.”
Bush Derangement Syndrome
It is widely mistakenly believed that our current president has not demonstrated our virtues, but that mistaken belief has been spread by political opportunists, mostly Democrats, who continually make the false claim that our position in the world has been damaged by President Bush. As President Bush travels the world, he is warmly greeted by the people of every country he visits, and France, Germany, Canada, and Mexico have all elected leaders friendly to the US during President Bush’s terms.
Claims that the Bush administration has continued to act alone without regard for our allies is a gross falsehood. That so many US citizens have been tainted by misinformation foisted upon them by Democrats now means that our Republican nominee must try to sound as if he will repair our image, when he knows that is not the case. He does not denigrate the president directly; in effect, he is reminding us that he will continue to “attract others to our cause” just as Bush has.
League of Democracies
McCain knows that the United Nations is an anti-American, weak, ineffectual organization that often favors policies against American interests. Therefore, he encourages a new organization called the “League of Democracies.” He declares, “We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact—a League of Democracies—that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests.”
His emphasis on “global alliances” may sound weak to those conservatives who are now afflicted with McCain Derangement Syndrome, but in effect he is merely repeating our position as it has always been.
Big Stick Diplomacy
McCain called for a new G-8, with the ouster of Russia and the inclusion of India and Brazil. His harshest remarks were for Russia: “Rather than tolerate Russia's nuclear blackmail or cyber attacks, Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible and that the organization's doors remain open to all democracies committed to the defense of freedom.”
Many conservatives mistakenly believe that McCain’s policies are essentially the same as the Democrats’ weak ineffectual policies. But if this speech is any indication, he will govern somewhat according to Big Stick Diplomacy. He will speak softly, he will support our allies, and in turn expect them to support us because of mutual interests, but he will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and he will not allow Russia to run rough-shod over the world.
For the entire speech, please see
Remarks By John McCain To The Los Angeles World Affairs Council