United States foreign policy continues its historic moral and ethical freefall – particularly with the global firestorm created by Hamas’ attack on Israel. A freefall matched by an administration hovering apoplectically over dismal domestic approval numbers and a foreign policy mysteriously influenced by social and political minorities. It is clear this administration has no interest in leading. Instead, they seem content to hold their cards close and pray no one calls their bluff – frozen in time, shivering, cowering – desperate for the next election cycle. Meanwhile, the hyperpolarizing and social media-infused rhetoric found at anti-Israeli and pro-Palestine rallies on US college campuses and elsewhere have exposed the repugnant side of those same political and social communities.
While the administration’s initial response to Hamas had a veneer of vigor and determination, the swagger quickly faded, and only faint political platitudes remained. There has also been a distinct lack of condemnation by the administration of the actions and rhetoric used by these domestic hate groups – almost tacit approval, while the nation continues to falter and more fissures appear. It is clear the administration cares more about its politically aligned domestic minorities than standing strong on American values and on the right side of history. With the acceptance of these political and social minorities comes a refusal to define the limits of our support for Israel – are we on the verge of abandoning our most trusted ally in the region? Are we about to have another Afghanistan moment?
The administration’s lack of moral courage has left our adversaries militarily and diplomatically emboldened and our allies openly apathetic and privately disrespectful. While at home, we have allowed the voices of the few to dominate and allowed a portable fraction of Americans to represent us and to paint America as both polarized and co-opted – how did this happen, and what can we do about it?
This nation was founded on a series of ideals and beliefs – beliefs of inalienable rights that became the voices of a revolution and the words of a Declaration of Independence. Written by a then 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson, those words were as unique as they were improbable. Improbable, as it was written under an authoritarian and growingly suppressive British government. Unique because it was the first of its kind – a rejection of tyranny, a proclamation of self-determination, and a demand for personal freedoms.