Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Silver Neocon

Ron Silver, of television and movie fame, writes a blog over at Pajamas Media. He's got an interesting piece over there on his political philosophy, what he calls "revolutionary liberalism":

Often when I walked onto the set of the West Wing some of my colleagues would greet me with a chanting of “Ron, Ron, the neo-con.” It was all done in fun but it had an edge.

Since speaking in support of George Bush at the 2004 Republican convention I’ve become increasingly disadmired by members of my profession as well as many others. As of this writing my family tells me they still love me. I believe them, but stay tuned, as another presidential cycle is upon us.

I find myself increasingly amused as folks extrapolate my support for the Bush Doctrine and our battles in Iraq and Afghanistan to how I feel about everything. When backed into a corner I often describe my politics, quite snarkily I admit, as a little bit to the right of the left of center.

As far as I can tell, my politics, with regard to American foreign policy and projection of American power haven’t changed very much from what they’ve always been—what I would call revolutionary liberalism. I have always resisted reactionaries from the left or right, Democrat or Republican. At the moment, the reactionary forces on the left, the Democratic netroots and their supporters—Mickey Colitis from the Daily Cuss, and the Moores and Sheehans—are more fearful to me than the traditional reactionary forces of the extreme right. And the Democratic Party seems to be listening to them.

Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate only eight years ago, gave an extraordinary speech on national security last week that the mainstream media did not cover. It’s a shame. And it’s a shame the Democratic Party shunned Lieberman and tried to defeat him in a primary. They made it clear that there is no place for him in the party he’s dedicated his life to. I’m a Joe Lieberman Democrat.

JFK reportedly remarked, “sometimes the party asks too much.” He was referring to the deal his Democratic Party made with southern segregationists to maintain control of Congress. His words are as true now as they were then. Sometimes the party asks too much.

I count myself firmly in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman and Kennedy…and yes, Reagan and George W. Bush. “Go anywhere, bear any burden,” “try to do our best to make a world safe for democracy.” Our national mission, a worthy and ennobling one, is to expand freedom where we can. These are revolutionary goals very much in keeping with our Founders’ vision. They are hardly conservative, let alone neo-conservative goals.

My reactionary former colleagues and friends were quite content with the status quo with Saddam in power in a post 9/11 world. I was not. Revolutionary, not reactionary. My friends sound a bit racist when they insist on Arab-Muslim incapacities to expand freedoms and maintain their faith. I believe the Arab world will work its way to achieve this. I know that it will most likely come about through internal Arab-Muslim struggles and not via external pressures, but I believe we are uniquely capable of helping it along. Uniquely, because our Founding scriptures declare, “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights.” Revolutionary, not reactionary.

Many people felt that the threat posed by Saddam was more tolerable than the risk of removing him. I disagreed and still do. Many of these people now feel that the threat of a nuclear Iran is more tolerable than the risk involved in making sure Iran doesn’t have such capabilities. I think they have it backwards. Many people feel reluctant to acknowledge that the “war on terror” is a real war. There is an unwillingness to identify the enemy, which is clearly a world-wide, malignant, metastatic Islamic jihadism, that will only be defeated ultimately with the Islamic world rising to reject the cancer. We cannot fight a war by pretending we’re not in one. This requires transformative, upset the apple cart thinking. It requires people who are revolutionary, not reactionary. As much as we might like, we cannot return to a pre-9/11 world.

The President is challenging the world with a new order. There is always passionate opposition to change. Have grievous mistakes been made? Yes. But just as Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan laid the foundations for fighting and prevailing in the Cold War, Bush has responded to 9/11 with a foreign policy revolution of similar magnitude: a reorganization of government institutions and appropriate legislation to meet the emerging threats.

Containment and deterrence are ineffective in this brave new world. There is no containment if you can’t see the enemy; there is no deterrence if the enemy desires death.

I believe the President’s critics are profoundly mistaken. I believe they misunderstand how he’s trying to protect us. I believe they misunderstand the nature of the threat. I believe they misunderstand history. If they succeed in dismantling what President Bush has set in motion, the results may well be catastrophic and history will never forgive them.

George W. Bush: a revolutionary liberal internationalist? History may so decree. Let’s wait and see.

My philosophy, at the end of the day, bottom line, as they say: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but labels never hurt me.”
That's an outstanding statement of values. The "Silver Neocon." Sounds like a superhero!

For further discussion of "the projection of American power," see my inaugural post, "
Welcome to American Power."

Hat tip:
Liberty Pundit.