...And a President following the wrong Advice Spells Security Threat to Americans
The number of people voting was at historic highs. The winds of change are blowing like a Category 5 hurricane.
The voters picked Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Obama as the Republican and Democrat favorites. People went with change over experience. The fact that neither candidate chosen has any international experience seemed not to matter.
It will matter in January 2009 when one of them (or one of the others) takes the chair in the Oval Office –and something weird happens in Pakistan, Iraq, the Gaza strip, etc.
If that happens, the President’s international advisors will be the key. But if those advisors disagree as they often do, the President will have no personal experience in places like Islamabad (which is a much prettier city in the mountains than hot, humid seaport Karachi, Pakistan) to know what is the right course of action. We had that in the tug-of-war between Bush’s advisors (remember Colin Powell vs. Rumsfeld--Bush followed Rumsfeld's advice, which was wrong instead of the General who was right!)
Unless someone like John McCain wins (the one remaining foreign policy expert; Biden and Richardson got 1% or less!) the question will be what kind of advisers on foreign policy will they have? WHO would they look to for guidance on dealing with unstable, nuclear Pakistan, Russia’s new power, China’s economic strength and space-age muscle?
But don’t be surprised if Americans pick change over experience –and messages of hope over fear and negative ads. Maybe the message is that experience without change is not want they want. Maybe they want change and experience in the same package. If they can’t get that, they will go with change and take their chances the next President will eventually figure out how to deal with 200 countries they have never been to.
The Presidency is more than taxes and spending. The next President has to find a way to cut the spread of hate and potential terrorism in the volatile Middle East. He/she will have to deal with a strong Russia under Mr. Putin, which controls the second largest nuclear inventory in the world and has key contacts and nuclear contracts with Iran. He/she will have to figure out a way to deal with China which is becoming a mighty economic power with a non-democratic government that is challenging us in space technology, etc.
I’d prefer someone who knows enough of the world to actually be proactive with a real strategy that improves our economic and leadership standing -- instead of just sitting there until we are blind-sided again (like on 9/11 and Pearl harbor before that).
Voters won’t be thinking of these issues but a President will have to. There is a long way to go in this election and winning New Hampshire is the next test of who survives this process.
Let’s see who the voters pick to guide our destiny the next four to eight years. Ordinary Americans have a lot more at stake in their choice than they realize, they better be asking WHO these candidates will use for foreign policy advice! Same question for the experienced candidates...