January 17, 2005

NOT 1968:

Vietnam, Iraq, and the 2004 Election (Zell Miller, Imprimus)

The most significant meaning of the 2004 election is that America has renounced the worst lessons of the post-Vietnam era. America’s faith in freedom has been reaffirmed. With the re-election of President Bush, America recommitted itself to expanding freedom and promoting liberty.

This election validated not only America’s role in promoting freedom, but also the faith our Founding Fathers placed in average folks to chart the course of this great nation. In the 2004 election, the American people confronted the ghost of Vietnam and considered the threats in today’s world. In deciding how we would confront these threats, they decided that while America is not perfect, America has been, and still is, a force for peace and freedom in the world – and that we should act for, rather than retreat from, that reality.

America has rejoined the contest for freedom, which is manifested in a new form called the Bush Doctrine. That is why the rejection of a Vietnam-tainted worldview in this election is so monumental. A bad idea must be weeded out before a good one can take root.

To be sure, Vietnam holds certain lessons for America. But for far too many in the media, academia and public leadership, Vietnam became the only point of reference when thinking about military force and foreign policy. Vietnam alone defined them, and Vietnam was consequently responsible for their narrow view of America. But we know that many of our other struggles are at least as important for understanding America’s place in the world, if not more so. The waters of Pearl Harbor, the thick forests of the Argonne, the ghastly ovens of Auschwitz, the turbulent air over Germany and the shores of Normandy all hold lessons for America. So, too, do the beaches of Iwo Jima, the frozen mountain passes of Korea, the western ridges of Gettysburg, the rolling plains of Manassas, the long-manned watchtowers of Central Europe and so many other consecrated sites. But ever since Vietnam, all those other sacred struggles for freedom were overshadowed by the experience of that one struggle. For too many, all else was forgotten.

Reams will be written about how the Democrats blew an election during an unpopular war, but surely one of the signal moments, missed by the entire MSM, was the bizarre re-enactment of Max Fischer's Heaven and Hell that was Senator Kerry's acceptance Speech in Boston.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 17, 2005 9:10 AM

Pretty words, but it was the draft that made the difference: cowardice in service of treason.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 17, 2005 10:38 AM

Sic Transit Gloria.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at January 17, 2005 11:32 AM

Unpopular? Which war are you talking about, Iraq or Vietnam?

Posted by: Tom at January 17, 2005 12:06 PM



Posted by: oj at January 17, 2005 6:32 PM

Not unpopular out here in Red Country. And I think that half of the people who are unhappy about Iraq think that we should have just leveled the place from 20,000 feet.

Posted by: ray at January 18, 2005 12:38 AM

Ditto Vietnam, Korea, etc.

Posted by: oj at January 18, 2005 12:50 AM