Buck Sexton filled in for Glenn on TV Monday night, and in the opening monologue he took a hard look at Obama’s poor foreign policy performance. Who is leading the free world if America’s President is more interested in the job?
The below is an edited transcript of Buck Sexton’s monologue:
As we hunker down across the country trying to escape freakishly inclement weather in many places, there is also a very disturbing trend playing out abroad around the globe day after day, the signs of something of a new world order, a post-American century emerging on the international scene.
Yes, of course, there are vicious civil wars raging on – Syria, Afghanistan, now the Central African Republic, Somalia, continuously, and there are others as well. But it’s not merely that there is conflict going on. There will always be fighting somewhere over something. It’s that something is missing in the background, on the sidelines. It just feels different right now around the world.
The good guys, the cavalry, they’re nowhere to be found, and I don’t necessarily mean charging into every situation with actual cavalry tanks and planes but in words and deeds on the world stage. In policies, pronouncements, and principles, America under this administration has gone MIA. Our allies feel as though they must fend for themselves. Our enemies know that they can move with impunity up to a point, and they keep pushing that line with more cunning and brashness.
Sure, look, things at home are a mess, no doubt about it. ObamaCare is an unmitigated disaster that will only rot and fester with time, but despite all that, whether the Obama administration cares to admit it or not, the struggle for human freedom rages on, and America will either play a role or cede into the background. Even the casual observer of events right now in Eurasia, China, and the Middle East has to wonder where the clarion call to liberty from the White House is. It’s not there.
When will we hear the stirring words of support for those who have answered the call and in their own countries risked their lives and fortunes for a better future? It’s not there. And it’s not from this president, not from his cabinet. There’s a deafening silence right now, apart from perhaps some quisling, whiny Carney remarks and some other stuff from the president that we don’t really need to hear.
Rule of thumb, whenever smarmy Jay Carney or Obama or anyone else in this administration says “let me be clear,” you know they’re about to make something up, lead you astray, obfuscate, change the subject, tell you something that you know is untrue. The only thing clear about this administration’s foreign policy is that it’s been a total disaster and has reduced the United States into a prompter-reading paper tiger.
Now this begs the inevitable question, if no one is listening to the U.S. anymore, who is the leader of the free world? Now, of course it should be our president, and yet Obama’s words and actions seem to indicate that he scoffs at that title. He scorns the responsibilities it bears. It’s as if he’s almost ashamed at the idea that America should lead the way. Oh, too harsh? Unfair? People would say that, of course. His cronies in the media will say that. Not at all, this is a mere recognition of reality.
There were plenty of reasons to believe this before the last few months, but the debacle of the Syrian so small they can’t even feel it punitive strike, that’s just completely tipped the balance. After a brief romance with the idea of Obama, nobody on the world stage even takes him seriously anymore. Nobody who matters is listening to his droning, platitudinous prompter reading sessions.
His lack of clarity, character, and principle in foreign policy is blindingly obvious. You don’t have to take my word for it. Let’s go to the data. A new Pew Research poll shows that America is now less powerful, less important, and less respected than when Obama took office. Now that’s quite a feat, of course, considering that there wasn’t a whole lot of place to go except for up after George W. Bush’s low rating in the very same poll with the same question – some tough years for Bush at the end there.
But Obama has still managed to lower the bar, and once again, this week, right now, we’re seeing how that translates onto the world stage. Let me focus on just for the time being one clash of liberty versus tyranny, one clash that is playing out as we speak. Ukraine is on the verge of revolution. What started out as just massive street protests against this government looks more and more like an all-out uprising.
Now, here you see protesters, and they’re pulling down a statue of Lenin –
Yes! That’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? Ukrainians are pulling down statues of Lenin, but if you listen to President Obama lately, it sounds like he might want to erect a few Lenin statues here, but I digress.
In Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, protesters have set up an encampment in the middle of Independence Square. They’re building barricades throughout downtown. They are hoarding brick, wood, and other debris in order to throw them at the police in a violent confrontation that could happen at any moment. Riot police are gathering around them. This could get very ugly, and it has implications far beyond the streets of Kiev. That’s what we have to also focus on.
Ukraine is a country of 50 million people. It’s a battlefield for much more than just a trade agreement. I want to show you what I’m talking about over here on a map. Sure, Putin bribed and pleaded and strong-armed to have Ukraine’s President Yanukovych side with Russia, a kleptocratic mafia state, mind you, over the EU. That’s the short version of the facts, the basic facts of this case that you should know as you read the headlines, but under that surface there’s a much deeper conflict. It’s really a continuation of the old Cold War battle lines.
Ukraine or the Ukraine, if you prefer, although most Ukrainians prefer Ukraine, means borderland. You can see right here, it is literally and figuratively a borderland between East and West. It sort of separates East from West, autocracy from liberty. The Iron Curtain used to come right down here. So it’s a battleground with two clear sides, those who want free markets and increased liberty and those who feel they would benefit from being a Russian cline state like Belarus right up here, basically a part of Russia.
The Iron Curtain may be gone, but the iron fist of Putin and his corrupt cronies, they can oppress and coerce and do whatever they want around here in Russia’s backyard, around these borders. Now, boiled down to its essential parts, this fight in Ukraine is about freedom versus statism. It’s really about Western democratic models versus the old authoritarian autocratic models.
Once you put it in those terms, it becomes very clear what needs to be done here. This is a chance, a chance, for America to stand with liberty, with Western European rule of law, and for once teach that punk Putin yeah, a lesson in the bargain. It’s about time. He’s been smacking us around for months. This is also a moment though for real statesmanship, for resolve, for leadership.
Even the imagery that we saw in Kiev, even the imagery that we’re seeing in Ukraine, that suggests something, doesn’t it? It suggests the time is now. This statue, by the way, this one here, this is a statue of Stalin that came down during the 1956 Hungarian uprising. At first, the communist government fell, but the West did nothing, and then the Soviets at first were willing to negotiate, but then they decided to come in with tanks and crush the rebellion. Thousands of people died, and the Hungarian people suffered under communism for decades after that.
The statue came down, but then what? The stature in Ukraine has come down. Now what? For the Hungarians, by the way, who rose up in 1956, we know the West was nowhere to be seen despite their bravery on the streets. And to nobody’s surprise today, the Obama administration is nowhere to be found.
I think the best we’ve done so far is a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden. Ooh, I’m sure Putin and the rest are quaking in their boots. Even when Putin makes audacious, freedom-crushing moves like he did today, he abolished the state news agency, RIA Novosti, and replaced it with a new agency designed to promote Moscow’s image abroad – he’s going global with that propaganda, baby, yeah – the president, our president, MIA on this, nothing to say while Putin is deciding to shut down media and propagate Russia’s worldview around the world.
But it’s not fair to say that President Obama hasn’t said anything about this. I should take that back. Scratch that one for the record, because we know that President Obama loves to give speeches, and we can find him at one of his propaganda rallies here at home peddling the same warmed-over Marxist class warfare rhetoric to the American people, anything to get them to think about something other than ObamaCare, which is canceling their health care plans and ripping their doctors away from them.
So yeah, Obama has plenty of things to say, things that you don’t want to hear but things like this:
President Obama: They experience in a very personal way the relentless decades-long trend that I want to spend some time talking about today, and that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain, that if you work hard you have a chance to get ahead. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time, making sure our economy works for every working American. That’s why I ran for president. It was the center of last year’s campaign. It drives everything I do in this office.
Battling the evil inequality monster, what a noble and righteous goal. Listening to these speeches should be considered a form of torture, I think, at this point. But don’t you just hate it when someone is rewarded for working hard and being successful? That creates or it can create a gap, something that’s bad. We don’t like that because everyone should be the same, homogenized, generic, uniform, equal, communal. Merit is a foreign concept to this president in many ways. Look at how he explains American exceptionalism on the world stage.
President Obama: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.
I’m not sure about Greek exceptionalism these days. They’re kind of bankrupt and in a whole lot of trouble, but you get the sense there President Obama really doesn’t think that America has any reason to think that it’s got anything to teach or share with the rest of the world because we’re all just equal partners in this whole crazy planet. No wonder Americans feel America is less important and respected in the world. Their own president is teaching them that. He’s literally coming out and saying it. We’re not putting words into his mouth, everybody is exceptional.
And when he isn’t downplaying America’s role in the world or apologizing for our past, he’s just outright debasing his position as commander-in-chief in some show of pseudo-intellectual cultural sensitivity. What is that? What is that?
You see, the free world is no longer cool to say. We don’t want to make the not-free world feel bad, I guess, so you can hold your tears, Kim Jong-un. No worries, bro. It’s all good, ayatollahs. We got your back. It’s fine. Everything’s going to be cool. We’re all going to be friends. Everybody gets a trophy. Every country gets a trophy, and after all, no one is exceptional. We’re all the same, so we should get the same trophy, the same size trophy. Sounds good to me.
See, now we’ve actually switched a huge paradigm shift in our view of America versus the rest of the world, where we stand on the planet. We’ve switched to a concept of the world community, commune, of course, tucked into that word. Obama likes this term much better. He doesn’t want to be all imperialistic and whatnot, but ironically the community organizer in chief doesn’t want to organize the world community. He just wants to be yet another member of it.
In Obama’s ideal world, America and Argentina have the same things to say because well, why not? I mean, we just have sort of the same power and authority and gravitas and heck, what do I know? Now, it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe a better question is was it always this way? You know the answer, of course it wasn’t always this way, but as a reminder of how a real leader of the free world, how a great leader used the moment, seized it, and tried to turn the tide of history in favor of freedom, let’s take a trip back in time, shall we?
President Reagan: There is one sign that the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
You see, Reagan got it. He stared down the Soviets, and tens of millions of people had a chance at freedom, because when all was said and done, Reagan actually believed America was special, and that meant standing for others. America was different. It set an example, and it shone the light down the path to liberty for others to follow.
This core principle often referred to as exceptionalisn, that’s really just a dainty way though of saying what we really are, so let’s just get down to it. We are the biggest, strongest, best force for freedom the world has ever known, America, us. This is a truth that existed at the founding of our republic. It’s a gift bequeathed to us by the Constitution, a country founded on the premise of liberty, if we could keep it of course.
Now, this is all true irrespective of foreign policy. It is a simple truth of what makes this America. Now, Abraham Lincoln didn’t live in a globalized world. He couldn’t call foreign leaders on cell phones. He didn’t have an Air Force and a Navy that could respond to any crisis in hours if not minutes, but he understood something that this president does not. He said it himself, “America is the last best hope of earth.”
And it wasn’t about our place at the United Nations, which obviously didn’t exist at the time, and it wasn’t about our economic power. It was about what America was meant to stand for from the beginning, liberty. Now, we didn’t always live up to it. We be honest about that always. We fought bloody battles to achieve that ideal, and at different times it seemed we may have been lost, but we stood firm. We pushed on, and there it remained rooted in the soul of this country.
But now it is not merely our liberty that is at stake. Today, we drift slowly and surely into a post-American world. It’s a digital dark ages, one in which aggressive authoritarian regimes harness 21st century technology to oppress their own people and intimidate their more liberal neighbors. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, those are really the most obvious offenders. There are going to be others. More will join along.
To borrow from this administration’s favorite phrase, let me be clear, Mr. President, if you don’t pick up the torch of liberty and sound the clarion call, tyranny will triumph. If you continue in your apathy with the decline of freedom, you’ll have the distinct dishonor of being the first president in American history, even among the most progressive presidents like FDR, who didn’t have the backbone to call evil by its name.
As other nations cry for our help, for our friendship, or merely encouragement, those calls increasingly are unanswered because well, we wouldn’t want that darn inequality monster to rear its ugly head, would we? We wouldn’t want another nation to feel bad about how it approaches the world. That, Mr. President, is cowardice. Is that clear enough for you?
Perhaps the president will miraculously wake from his somnambulant state and realize we need to be as a country once again the leader of the free world. For if not us, then who? We are indeed the last hope, and we are running out of time.