Uhh, is it a good idea to be quibbling with George Washington while speaking at West Point?
Addressing the graduating class of the United States Military Academy, President Obama today lumped George Washington in with modern isolationists and quite clearly said the general’s thinking no longer applies:
At least since George Washington served as Commander-in-Chief, there have been those who warned against foreign entanglements that do not touch directly on our security or economic wellbeing. Today, according to self-described realists, conflicts in Syria or Ukraine or the Central African Republic are not ours to solve. And not surprisingly, after costly wars and continuing challenges here at home, that view is shared by many Americans.
A different view from interventionists from the left and right says that we ignore these conflicts at our own peril; that America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos, and America’s failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations not only violates our conscience, but invites escalating aggression in the future.
And each side can point to history to support its claims. But I believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment.
Don’t listen to that George Washington fellow. He knew the deal in the 18th Century, but this is the Obama Century.
The current president also had some choice words for those who think he’s overseeing the decline of the United States, which, he is: You are engaged in partisan politics.
In fact, by most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise — who suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away — are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.
Can’t we let the GOP bashing stop at the military academy’s edge?