The latest post by Walter Russell Mead, Give the People What They Want, is worth 10 minutes of your time. It’s pretty much common sense, makes some interesting points about the current political conflicts going on in our country today. I’m not sure I completely agree with him in his conclusions — I still believe that a libertarian-conservative (classical liberal?) scheme going forward would do the most good for this country — but I see his point, and it’s a good one.
By and large American voters want five things. First, above and before all else, they want physical safety for themselves, their loved ones and their property. We don’t want foreign people trying to invade or kill and ruin us; we don’t want criminals running wild in American streets. We want an army, a navy, an air force, a coast guard and a missile shield. We want the borders guarded and the streets patrolled. Much of the time this concern fades into the background, but when it comes to the fore, as in World War Two, the Cold War, the crime wave of the 1970s and now the CFKATGWOT (the presently anonymous Conflict Formerly Known as the Global War on Terror), Americans generally expect American politicians to pass a credibility test on this issue first of all.