Okay, I know that in an earlier post I stated that I would not be getting involved in any political arguments this year. My intentions are to sit this election out and try to feel good about the votes that I cast, if any.
The "empty chair" of course refers to Clint Eastwood's remarks at the Republican convention and although this entry will hopefully not be an argument between the ideals of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, but rather just an observation of what has turned into a week that I think reveals what the current President is about from my point of view.
What brings this up is seeing the news coming in from around the world that involves the Untied States and our allies and the turmoil that is being reported and the President's response to these reports.
I have always been of the philosophy that the closer a government organization is to you, the more effect it should have on your individual life. For example, in my case, the Kansas City government and the Jackson county form of government should have more impact on my life and how I live then the Government of the State of Missouri in Jefferson City. In turn, the people governing in Jefferson city should have more impact on my life than those in Washington, DC.
I am not saying that the Federal Government should not have ANY say in the laws that I live under, but the city should be closer to my life. There are different roles that each level of government should be responsible for. While yes, the President does have an obligation to some domestic policies, the office of the presidency should be mainly responsible for our country's foreign policy.
In the past, some of our greatest Presidents have been strong foreign policy Presidents. Starting off with the first five presidents, Washington-Adams-Jefferson-Madison-Monroe, on up to Teddy Roosevelt, to Wilson and FDR followed by Truman, JFK, Nixon, Reagan to President Bush and his son, President Bush have all been presidents who took foreign policy very seriously and built their administrations around their foreign policy. It is the President's primary function to lead the country in the area of foreign policy. I sincerely believe this and I sincerely believe that history has shown this to be the case.
The news coming out of the Middle East this week and today in particular, shows us a region that is in deeper turmoil that it has been in a long time. One of the main reasons for this is that we are faced with a President that has a very weak foreign policy, if one at all.
On a day when two of our embassies, in Lybia and in Egypt, have been attacked. Our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens was murdered and his body was dragged through the streets. Seven more embassies have been put on high alert with anticipation of attacks on them. What did the President do? Talked to some workers at the State Department telling them that he could value their work because he had grown up abroad for a lot of his life. He then boarded a helicopter to take off to Air Force One to fly to Las Vegas for a fund raiser.
We have many allies around the world. There are those allies that we can depend on to stand by us and support us. The United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany (to a certain degree) are allies that we have looked to time and again and they have come through for us. Another strong ally is Israel. The United States and Israel have been the closest of allies since the State of Israel was formed. We have always stood with Israel to protect their right to exist and they have repaid us over the years. Israel finds itself in a desperate situation now and the United States is ignoring them because, I think, Our President does not have a foreign policy that protects Israel.
The leadership in Iran has stated many times that they won't consider their job complete until the State of Israel is wiped off the map. As I write this, Iran is constantly working on the purification of uranium which will give them nuclear capabilities. Our President's response to this is an open ended sanction against Iran, hoping that they will run out of material and time from the sanctions before they gain this capability. If they do gain Nuclear capabilities, then we have been told that Iran will use it only as a power source, not as a weapon. I found that even hard to write it is so out of touch with reality.
Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel wants something to be done. The United States tells him to wait. Netanyahu wants a meeting with President Obama. He was turned down. It seems the President does not have enough time in his schedule to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Prime Minister of Israel has made it clear that if the United States does not take action to stop Iran from developing nuclear capabilities, that Israel will take pre-emptive action. This is a serious threat and Netanyahu does not take it lightly.
Meanwhile while the President does not have time to stay in Washington and address the problem of our embassy's being attacked and our ambassadors murdered, or the time to meet with one of our closest allies concerning their very existence, he has made plans to continue his campagn for a second term.
He is going to Las Vegas. He has booked a spot on the David Letterman Show. He has made plans to be in New York for a $400,000 dollar a plate fundraiser next month with Beyonce and rapper Jay-Z.
This is what the President is good at. He is charismatic. He is an excellent orator ( as long as the teleprompters are working). He is good at telling people what they want to hear in order to raise money. He is a campaigner. In my opinion, that is all he has done for the last four years. He has been campaigning.
I will be the first to admit that Clint Eastwood's show of talking to an empty chair was more than a little cheesy. It did little to point out the differences in the philosophies of President Obama and Governor Romney. It had more the feel of a burlesque act than a political convention talk.
That being said, "The Empty Chair" has become more of a reality than I would like it to be. While embassies burn and Ambassadors are murdered and their bodies dragged through the streets. While a determined despot in Iran continues to work toward a nuclear weapon to wipe one of our best allies off the face of the earth, the President is out raising money and playing politics.
From where I sit, there is indeed an empty chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It is a chair that right now at this point in time, can not afford to be empty, and that concerns me.