The liberal Democrat in the White House
As shown by Jeff Jacoby, Boilerplate’s rhetoric about America’s global mission—that our job is everywhere to protect human rights and equality guaranteed by God—bears a striking resemblance to that of Kennedy, Truman, and Franklin Roosevelt in their speeches about the Cold War and World War II. While I’ll grant the resemblance up to a point, there is a big caveat concerning Boilerplate’s left-leaning emphasis on feelings rather than human nature as the great equalizer of men’s rights. Another caveat is raised by his off-base assumption, as discussed by Charles Kesler in a recent Imprimis, that having abstract rights gives men the immediate practical ability to exercise them. But who guarantees that they will exercise them? Why us, the U.S., through the presence of our military forces.
The presence of so much interesting content in that expansive democratic rhetoric makes one wonder why it sounds so bizarrely mechanistic when Boilerplate speaks it. It is as though he had memorized the lines in sessions with his neoconservative advisors and now just keeps endlessly, stubbornly, mindlessly repeating them. Hmm, have I just answered my own question?
In any case, Jacoby’s quotes of Bush and those earlier, Democratic presidents demonstrate the truth of a remark I made in Erasing America, that liberal democrats were once called “liberal Democrats” and today are called “conservative Republicans.”