"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The Christian Science Monitor's longtime Washington correspondent Godfrey Sperling suggests the Democrats and GOP have traded ideologies:
Back in the early part of the Iraq war I was intrigued that Anthony Lake, who had been a national security adviser to President Clinton, held this perspective on the foreign policy debate between President Bush and his Democratic critics: That this policy conflict was really between conservatives and radicals and it was the Democrats who had emerged as the conservatives and the Republicans who had become the liberals, or "radicals."
During the presidential campaign, [a] Washington Post columnist, Jim Hoagland, succinctly described the foreign-policy differences emerging in the battle between the contenders this way: "John Kerry would change the situation. George W. Bush would change the world."
I well remember the foreign-policy conservatives of the 1930s and early 1940s. They were called "isolationists" and charged - often angrily - that President Roosevelt was wrongly pulling the US into the war in Europe. But this isolationist resistance ended suddenly with Pearl Harbor.
The country seemed to come together behind Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. But the Democrats never could accept the idea of democracy being spread in a forceful way by the US. So the policy difference grew: The conservative Democrats vs. the liberal Republicans. That's relatively speaking, of course, but still very real.
The Monitor's Matthew Clark sees a similar switch in foreign-policy positions taking place in British politics:
Which staunch Labour supporter, for instance, would have thought ten years ago that his or her party leader now would carry the Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher's torch for increased support of an aggressive US foreign policy?
And which conservative Republican in the United States would have thought that his or her party would have found itself aggressively promoting democracy-building projects in the Middle East and beyond? That would have sounded suspiciously like liberal internationalism, not traditionally a key plank of the Republican Party's platform, to say the least.
The staunch liberal Democrats who compose the majority of my family regard my views on politics as contrarian (if not downright heretical), but I would argue that a support for a strong US foreign policy and promotion of democracy abroad is more in line with the liberal internationalism of FDR, Truman and JFK than the current bent of the Democratic Party is.
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Dems howl when their "patriotism is questioned," but frankly, given performances like Sen. Kennedy's latest, how can it not be?