Monday, July 6, 2009

Channeling the Founders?

This past weekend, the United States commemorated its 233rd birthday. In scope, rather pubescent compared to certain past civilizations, even to the British from whom we gained independence. Still, it is no small feat considering the volatility with which the country has had to contend over those two centuries. To honor the mark, President Obama expressed to the nation to summon the spirit of the Founding Fathers.

Given the latest international events, his administration seems to be failing in that sentiment. Despite questionable results, criticized internally even by hardliners, the U.S. has failed to take a stronger stance in the Iranian presidential election furor. As opposed to going “out of its way not to interfere,” the U.S. would be better poised diplomatically in calling for a comprehensive review and recount of the full vote to legitimize leadership. Particularly, one open to future dialogue between our two countries. Meantime, the Minnesota senatorial race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken has dragged on for months because of that very process.

In Honduras, the U.S. – alongside those bastions of freedom, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela – insists upon maintaining recognition of ousted leader Manuel Zelaya in his attempt to subvert democratic principles, à la Hugo Chavez. As such, rather than support a coup aimed at upholding those principles, the U.S. would see a would-be dictator, and Chavez ally, returned to power and make changes to the country’s constitution in order for him to retain it. (For more on that situation, see Cal Thomas' column, The Honduran Predicament)

Less it be forgotten as well, plans are underway for the eventual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq while their vulnerably infant democratic government still suckles at the tit of Lady Liberty. (Of course, the Iraqis have been most helpful in fulfilling their end of the bargain over the past six years.) Certainly, all of this is in the spirit of Washington, Adams and Jefferson, whom we indeed need to embrace. Only then can we be, if not continue to be, the beacon of the free world and democratic values. It just seems we are failing to adhere consistently to that idea.

©2009 Steve Sagarra