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The End of Ideology

Gerald Warner has a great piece in today’s Telegraph about the Tories’ infatuation with Barack Obama. He writes about British conservatives, but his analysis readily applies on this side of the pond:

Barack Obama is the most left-wing politician in the whole of American history.

So, how does he come to enjoy the vociferous support of prominent Tories? Because they are innocent of ideology, is the evident answer; because they have no coherent principles. They are still living in the age of Blair, when image, spin, presentation and empty soundbites substituted for a political philosophy and consistent policies.

Substitute the name “Clinton” for “Blair” and you’ve got a handy blueprint of what “change” really means to American Obama-supporters. It means rewinding to an era when ideologies were touted but never tested; when a gesture worked as a global band-aid, while threats were left to fester; when the Iraqi Liberation Act could be passed without Americans every wondering if it meant something.

We hear all the time about how much better things were under Clinton — not just for the U.S., but for the whole world. But by Clinton’s own admission, his administration lacked a coherent foreign policy for far too long. As if Mogadishu and Rwanda never happened — as if al Qaeda didn’t reach its operational peak in the Clinton years–Americans are once again convinced that global adoration for a single American figure will stave off the all the deadly -isms that have threatened civil societies for all recorded history. Childishly, Obama supporters think that Obama’s image on sweaters in Paris will translate into greater deference toward the U.S. worldwide. Or that because a few interviewees in the Muslim world say they say support Obama, jihadist groups will abandon their ancient mandates and pledge allegiance to America. They long for the days of a purely symbolic foreign policy, but fail to realize that in our enemies’ minds, America, under any leadership, will remain a symbol of all that must destroyed.



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