Thursday, February 10, 2005

Draft Condi

Proverbs 11:16-19 (King James Version)

“16A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.
17The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
18The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.
19As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.”

I read an interesting "news" piece in today’s Kansas City Star. It seems that Condoleezza Rice is bringing a thaw in the relations between the United States and “old Europe.” According to the piece from Knight Ridder, Rice has “visited nine countries and one territory, given sixteen interviews and twelve news conferences” in which she has “repeatedly said that America’s mission is to spread freedom worldwide.” She seems to be getting results. NATO has agreed to bring more resources to bear in the training of Iraqi security forces, Germany has pledged support, and the French, while still non-committal, have clearly liked what they’ve heard from our new Secretary of State.

In a departure from the “Realpolitik” of the last two decades, Secretary Rice spoke of “transformational diplomacy.” Rather than accepting the status quo in the world, she believes that America must act as the champion of liberty and democracy in the world. She put it this way:

“We have to deal with the world as it is. But we do not have to accept the world as it is. Imagine where we would be today if the brave founders of French liberty or of American liberty had simply been content with the world as it was.”

In remarks before the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris she clearly articulated what the American position in the international arena will be during her tenure. Reaching back to her own childhood and through the history of freedom’s march in the world she declared that:

“Men and women, both great and humble, have shown us the power of human agency in this work. In my own experience, a black woman named Rosa Parks was just tired one day of being told to sit in the back of a bus, so she refused to move. And she touched off a revolution of freedom across the American South.

In Poland, Lech Walesa had had enough of the lies and the exploitation, so he climbed a wall and he joined a strike for his rights; and Poland was transformed.

In Afghanistan just a few months ago, men and women, once oppressed by the Taliban, walked miles, forded streams and stood hours in the snow just to cast a ballot for their first vote as a free people.

And just a few days ago in Iraq, millions of Iraqi men and women defied the terrorist threats and delivered a clarion call for freedom. Individual Iraqis risked their lives. One policeman threw his body on a suicide bomber to preserve the right of his fellow citizens to vote. They cast their free votes, and they began their nation's new history.”

These examples demonstrate a basic truth -- the truth that human dignity is embodied in the free choice of individuals.”

I realize that the future is an open slate. But the things we do today clearly will have a great impact on the future of the world. We have, it seems to me, three choices. We can retreat to the isolationism of the thirties, we can just “accept” the realities of the world and make the best of bad situations in the world, or we can advance our ideals, shaping a better future for ourselves and those in the world who have been bound by tyranny for decades.

For my entire adult life I’ve believed in the principles of freedom and democracy. And, having traveled the world as an American soldier and seen the too much of the world living under the grip of dictatorship and hopelessness, Dr. Rice’s words resonate with this JFK Democrat:

“The Arab people deserve a better future than is currently in front of them. Both our security and our moral conscience tell us that this is a part of the world that can no longer be isolated from the prosperity and human dignity that freedom brings.”

I’ve believed for some time now that Condoleezza Rice has the right stuff. She’s a leader, not a follower; she’s got presidential timbre. Over a year ago I responded to an editorial from Patrick Kelley in our local newspaper. He’s a big fan of Hillary Clinton. I’m not. Even back then people were talking about 2008. There really wasn’t much doubt then, nor is there now, that the junior senator from New York is the presumptive front-runner to be the Democratic Party’s standard bearer on the 2008 presidential ticket. On the Republican side, most seem to believe the nominee will be a centrist like John McCain or Rudy Giuliani.

I set forth my choice of “Condi” as a worthy candidate back then in my response to Patrick Kelley:

Mr. Kelley:


I believe I’ve got a pretty good grasp on what eloquence means and Hillary is not one of those names that comes to mind when I think about it. Come to think about it, her name doesn’t come readily to mind when I think about integrity either.

You and I must have different reading (and listening) tastes. When I think of eloquence and integrity names like Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, William Jennings Bryan, or Martin Luther King come to mind, not the “esteemed” senator from New York.

When it comes to eloquence and integrity I’m like Forrest Gump. I’ll paraphrase. “I’m not a smart man, Mr. Kelley, but I know what eloquence and integrity are.”

While you may think she’s eloquent, a lot of us can hear her hissing as the words of deceit ooze from that honeyed tongue. As for integrity, her hands are full of grease, clutching for nothing but raw power.

If the pundits are right Mrs. Clinton will be running for president in 2008. Who knows? Her opponent may give folks like you and me a choice between real eloquence and integrity and a counterfeit. I can almost hear it as I write. “Ladies and gentlemen I give you, from the great state of California, the Republican nominee for president of the United States……Condoleezza Rice!”

It would be a race I’d welcome. How about you? If you’re up to a good political fight by then I’ll be ready to battle with you. You can use you editorial page to tout Hillary and I’ll start a “draft Condi” movement out here in the Flint Hills.

If it comes, I’ll even give you odds. I have full confidence that the good people of Kansas know the real from the counterfeit too.

Phil Dillon
Emporia, KS

Recent events, Dr. Rice’s confirmation in the face of a withering attack by Democratic demagogues, her ability to articulate American ideals and win over lukewarm allies, and her own personal march to become one of this country’s great champions of liberty have confirmed to me what I believed then.

The next election is not that far away. History’s wheel will spin very quickly and bring us to that day. When it comes I’m convinced that “Condi” will confirm everything I believe about her now. America needs a leader like Condoleezza Rice. The cause of freedom needs a leader like her. She has the right stuff for this time in history! So, this Democrat says once again, emphatically, "Draft Condi!"


James Fletcher Baxter said...

True leaders must have Vision: the ability to anticipate the future accurately. That view has a prerequisite: Transcendent Criteria for measuring the value of present and daily choices. Humans cannot invent criteria greater than self. Thus, a basic need exists in our human nature that cannot be met without recognition and grasp of a Creator/Author and His gift to His created creature -- made in His image.

Ms. Rice's statement recognizes a sequential perception of quality and reality in the conduct of the Iraqi people in the recent election. "Their example demonstrates a basic truth -- the truth that human dignity is embodied in the free choice of individuals."

The validated Jeffersonian and Biblical paradigm of the definitve human endowment has no alternative. Endowed liberty of Choice requires environmental Freedom for fulfillment. Measured by the above, Condi Rice already stands head and shoulders above anyone else on the American political horizon. I choose Condi.

semper fidelis
An American Choicemaker
Psalm 25:12

"Good boy, Dillon!"

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son
of man that You visit him?" Psalm 8:4
A: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against
you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing
and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and
your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19

Q: "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that you are mindful of him?" Psalm
A: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose
for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the
gods which your fathers served that were on the other
side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose
land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will
serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Q: "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is
born of a woman, that he could be righteous?" Job 15:14
A: "Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He
teach in the way he chooses." Psalm 25:12

Q: "What is man, that You should magnify him, that You
should set Your heart on him?" Job 7:17
A: "Do not envy the oppressor and choose none of his
ways." Proverbs 3:31

Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son
of man that You take care of him?" Hebrews 2:6
A: "I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have
laid before me." Psalm 119:30 "Let Your hand become my
help, for I have chosen Your precepts."Psalm 119:173

An American Choicemaker
Joel 3:14

James Fletcher Baxter said...

"I should think that if there is one thing that man has
learned about himself it is that he is a creature of
choice." Richard M. Weaver

"Man is a being capable of subduing his emotions and
impulses; he can rationalize his behavior. He arranges
his wishes into a scale, he chooses; in short, he acts.
What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he
adjusts his behavior deliberately." Ludwig von Mises

"To make any sense of the idea of morality, it must be
presumed that the human being is responsible for his
actions and responsibility cannot be understood apart
from the presumption of freedom of choice."
John Chamberlain

"The advocate of liberty believes that it is complementary
of the orderly laws of cause and effect, of probability
and of chance, of which man is not completely informed.
It is complementary of them because it rests in part upon
the faith that each individual is endowed by his Creator
with the power of individual choice."
Wendell J. Brown

"Our Founding Fathers believed that we live in an ordered
universe. They believed themselves to be a part of the
universal order of things. Stated another way, they
believed in God. They believed that every man must find
his own place in a world where a place has been made for
him. They sought independence for their nation but, more
importantly, they sought freedom for individuals to think
and act for themselves. They established a republic
dedicated to one purpose above all others - the preserva-
tion of individual liberty..." Ralph W. Husted

"We have the gift of an inner liberty so far-reaching
that we can choose either to accept or reject the God
who gave it to us, and it would seem to follow that the
Author of a liberty so radical wills that we should be
equally free in our relationships with other men.
Spiritual liberty logically demands conditions of outer
and social freedom for its completion." Edmund A. Opitz

"Above all I see an ability to choose the better from the
worse that has made possible life's progress."
Charles Lindbergh

"Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for
oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibil-
ity of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not
a man but a member, an instrument, a thing."
Thomas Jefferson

An American Choicemaker
Joshua 1:3
semper fidelis