World War III is coming.
If you think I kid, just read Max Fisher’s write-up about the approaching U.S. confrontation with Russia. It’s enough to make you soil yourself.
Here’s the rationale: Not yet deterred from the collapse of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin is actively restoring Russia’s sphere of influence. He has made a point of invading Ukraine to access his country’s port in Sevastopol. Now he’s openly defying the U.S. by aiding the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Now, I’m no wide-eyed Bill Kristol disciple. I don’t think America needs to keep its empire status. But at the same time, I see a need for order in an uncertain world. There will always be a domineering force on our planet. And, like it or not, that global bully is America. So it’s better to err on the side of caution and to, in the words of Michael Oakeshott, “prefer the familiar to the unknown,” and root for the home team.
The question is: with Barack Obama soon to leave the White House, what presidential candidate is best fit to stand up to aspiring leaders like Vladimir Putin? Who will put the ex-KGB spy and Russian leader in his place?
Let’s look at the current crop of presidential candidates.
Jeb Bush – In a fight between a sloth and Governor Bush, you can put my money on the guy with two toes. Bush might be brainy, but he lacks brawns. He can’t even get his wife to speak proper English in America. No rescuer here.
Hillary Clinton – If you think Vladimir Putin will be intimidated by a woman (a septuagenarian who possibly suffers from a brain injury no less), please go back to your SJW message boards. You have no place in discussing serious topics.
Marco Rubio – The Florida senator and son of Cuban refugees is the darling of the D.C. establishment. He’s coached by Bush-era hawkish advisors who thought tossing out Saddam Hussein would bring sunshine, lollipops, and democracy to the Middle East. He talks big about restoring America’s prestige on the international stage – a tactic that gets the readers of The Weekly Standard hootin’ and hollerin’. It would all be impressive if Marco Rubio wasn’t a big phony: he’s a debt-ridden brown-noser with a sugar daddy who’s never held a real job in his life. Putin isn’t going to be cowed by a career politician who sweats buckets under pressure.
Ted Cruz – Yes, Senator Cruz is a thorn in the side of Washington crybabies. His oratory prowess is unmatched. But he has a weakness: he’s as polished and trained as a show dog. Every word uttered from Cruz’s Princeton-trained lips is calculated. What’s intimidating about someone who grooms their talking points like a teenage girl primps their hair? Nothing, that’s what.
Rand Paul – Of all the candidates in the 2016 race, Rand Paul has the most sensible foreign policy. He was against the Iraq War and the Libya invasion that threw both countries into chaos. He isn’t in a hurry to nuke the globe over issues that can be handled diplomatically. All that aside, Paul’s soporific speaking style doesn’t exactly inspire. Plus, he’s embarrassingly short.
Carly Fiorina – I’ll give Mrs. Fiorina one thing: she’s tough as nails given her fight with cancer. She also had the guts to let go of a bunch of employees at Hewlett-Packard while she was CEO to keep the company going. She can make tough choices and stand by them. Unfortunately, her record of promoting politically-correct inclusion policies, added onto her brash attitude toward Putin, makes Carly seem like a hotheaded opportunist.
Bobby Jindal – The cerebral son of Indian immigrants who converted to Catholicism and adopted a faux southern accent? Somehow, I doubt Putin, who’s made it is his job to defend the Russian Orthodox Church and his ancestral ethnicity, will be impressed with a meek, mousy looking governor who loves talking health care policy.
Ben Carson – A soft-spoken neurosurgeon? Ben Carson may be a good man, but he is not a commanding figure. Stick to brain surgery, Ben. Politics is too yucky of a game for you anyway.
Lindsey Graham – Senator Graham is a veteran who loves flexing our military’s strength. Even so, his social liberalism (and heavily rumored homosexuality) aren’t going to strike fear into someone who regularly blasts the West’s hedonism.
Donald Trump – Now this is what I’m talking about. Trump is one blustering, self-confident hunk of a man. His back-and-forths with the candidates shows that he doesn’t back down easily from a fight. And he says he’s willing to talk to Putin to see if we can’t work out a deal.
In a field full of armchair warriors, chickenhawk firebrands, emasculated Untermensch, and beta males, Donald Trump stands out as the candidate willing to face down anyone who challenges our role as the global arbiter. Unfortunately, the Donald comes off as unhinged as well as thin-skinned. That’s not a great combination when taking on someone as cool and collected as the Russian president.
Our country is on a collision course with an adversary who mocks the West’s poisonous bond with moral relativism. Our military is the strongest in the world. But it needs a leader who can wield it competently and with brio. So far, no presidential candidate expresses the temperament to view foreign policy as, to cite journalist Walter Lippman, keep the nation’s “purposes within its means, and its means equal to its purposes.”
The sad truth is there may not be any leader in America who can face down the steely-eyed Putin. We’re a nation of wimps. Social liberalism has rendered us cuckolded and ineffective.
Soon enough, someone will come along and take the baton of global stewardship. And by then, it might be for the best.