Exclusive to Accuracy in Media
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each live in their own world, although they sometimes visit other places.
Trump-World is based on modern nation states with national identities: countries that defend national interests before aspiring to go beyond their borders to help others.
Clinton-Space is a post-national place where nation states are mostly passé, where affairs are decided by post-national bodies like the UN, the EU and NGO’s (the United Nations, the European Union and non-governmental organizations), or magnanimous multi-national entities like the Clinton Foundation.
Meanwhile, the Obama-Sphere is almost synonymous with what was once called “The Third World”—the developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America.
Think of three different worlds, entirely different planetary landscapes—Earth, Venus and Mars—determining three vastly different “world-views.”
President Obama is built a lot like his mentor at Columbia University, Professor Edward Said: not a devout Christian or Muslim, but a devoted anti-colonialist and anti-Hegemonist who sees Western power projection and nationalism as abusive.
Obama, like Professor Said, conflates “Islam” with everything inside Asia and Africa, and that is why his first foreign interview was with an Arab newspaper, his first foreign visit was to Islamic Turkey and his first major overseas address was his rhapsodic overture to Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Like the late Professor Said, who viewed Western study of Islamic societies as an intrusion, Obama prefers to let such societies and their leaders define themselves and be themselves with scant Western interference or comment.
In Obama’s world no one uses “abusive” terms like Islamic terror or Arab terror.
Barack Obama, with deep ties to Indonesia and Kenya, has a visceral link to communities of color and Islam. They are “my people.” This may be one more reason why he obsesses about black victims of police brutality, “hate crimes against Muslims” and “prejudice against Muslims,” and why he finds it difficult to talk about “Islamic terror,” black-on-black crime or organized black hatred against police forces.
Obama allows Islamist despots like Turkey’s Recep Erdogan or Iran’s mullahs or pan-Arab Syria’s Assad to act freely. He even helps them. Obama pushed Israel to apologize to a Turkish regime that aided Hamas terrorists in Gaza, and Obama forgave the way Iran and Syria brutally abused their own populations.
This same Turkish regime is the world’s top abuser of press freedom. This Iranian regime has repressed thousands of Iranians, and it is the leading terror supporter on several continents, unabashedly pushing a missile program to transport nuclear bombs that can reach Europe and North America.
But in Obama-Sphere, you will hear scant criticism of Turkey or Iran, but there are often heated words and threats when Israel builds 60 apartments in Jerusalem. Obama relaxed sanctions against Iran, and he enabled trade deals with the country that is still the world’s foremost terror state.
Mr. Obama defied strong congressional requests NOT to send an ambassador to Syrian leader Bashar Assad. Later, he pulled back from punishing Syria’s use of chemical weapons while it was murdering tens of thousands of people.
Hillary Clinton, like President Bill Clinton and President Jimmy Carter, has a jaundiced view of American power and an optimistic view of supra-national agencies like the UN and Amnesty International. Their motto: keep the U.S. Army small, but keep the UN large.
In Clinton-Space, U.S. interventions should only be humanitarian efforts to fly food or doctors to Haiti, not to rescue U.S. diplomats from Iran or Benghazi. If there is a big problem, the U.S. should not act alone, but only in the context of the UN or some other multi-national effort. The Clinton-Carter view is hopeful, perhaps wishful.
Both Clintons, Carter and Obama believe in the use of “soft power”—the power of America to preach to the world in order to get positive results—even when dealing with hard-power nationalists like Turkey’s Erdogan, Syria’s Assad or Russia’s Vladimir Putin; and even with hard-core Islamists like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood or Iran’s ayatollahs.
The policy results so far show that neither Turkey nor Russia, neither Syria nor Iran, live on the same planet with Clinton-Carter-Obama. Terrorists and despots ignore soft power or entreaties from the UN and the EU the way Venus and Mars ignore people looking at them through telescopes.
Trump thinks he can speak the language of dictators and thugs by carrying a big stick, like the one recommended by Teddy Roosevelt, the first U.S. president to travel abroad and the first president to win a Nobel Peace Prize (and to deserve it, too).
The Trump version of the Teddy Roosevelt stick would be a strong American military and a more aggressive economic posture.
The symbol of Donald Trump’s devotion to national interests and national borders is his famous promise to “build a wall” between the United States and Mexico as well as his much-discussed distrust of trade deals negotiated with other countries.
Critics call Trump and his worldview “nativist” or even xenophobic. The elections will be a chance for Americans to announce where they want to live: in Trump World where the U.S. leads other nation states, in Clinton Space that opts for world government, or Obama’s planet with its hopeful view of engaging Islamists and assorted Third World thugs.