In a reversal of Sally Field’s much-derided “You love me, you really, really love me” burst of enthusiasm, the Democrats have taken to celebrating how much they think the world hates us. They seem downright gleeful. David Frum gamely defended America and tried to debunk some of the polling at a recent hearing. And there is good reason to see that in fact some of the trend lines are improving.
But if Democrats were concerned about America’s image in the world, they could, after all, do something about it. They might stop vilifying America publicly. If we bash ourselves for being everything from arrogant to environmentally wasteful, it’s no wonder others join in. They might step up efforts to communicate our positive actions to the world — a Voice of America refashioned for the 21st century. And they might ask how effectively the State Department is handling public diplomacy in foreign countries. ( Rudy Giuliani was, I believe, the only candidate this entire presidential cycle to raise this last issue.)
But that would be utterly irrelevant to the purposes of the Democrats. For if they were to work on improving our image (and by the way, where have they been on this issue for the last decade?) we would not, as his media fan club constantly reminds us, need the Great Change Agent to charm the world and lead us to a new and brighter future.