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WP: A Popularity Offensive


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The one goal that unites and explains the Democratic approach to foreign policy is this: America must try -- urgently and desperately -- to be more popular in the world.

"The world was with us after 9/11," explains Hillary Clinton. "We have so squandered that goodwill and we've got to rebuild it." Barack Obama has said that the "single most important issue" of the current election is picking a leader who can "repair all the damage that's been done to America's reputation overseas."

This argument depends on three premises -- all of which are questionable.

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"The world was with us after 9/11," explains Hillary Clinton. "We have so squandered that goodwill and we've got to rebuild it." Barack Obama has said that the "single most important issue" of the current election is picking a leader who can "repair all the damage that's been done to America's reputation overseas."

so the Republican party is to blame for 9/11? I remember right after that every one of those countries stood up WITH us and were down to get the terrorists.

Its like when you're going to get the guys who disrespected you and ALL of your friends say they are down but as soon as the first punch is thrown they bolt.

Most of the countries that dont like us dont really matter as far as Im concerned. We have allies and we have those who have always stood by us and will continue to and those are the ones I depend upon.

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First, listening to the Democrats, one would assume that America in the Bush era is universally despised. The reality is more complicated.

According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, the United States is very popular in sub-Saharan Africa, where President Bush has just finished a triumphant tour. (People in Kenya, Ivory Coast and Ghana have a more favorable view of America than Americans do.) India and Japan are strongly pro-American. America remains popular in parts of "new Europe" as well as in Mexico, Peru and even Venezuela -- though there has been some erosion in both Latin America and Europe in recent years.

Pew's general conclusion is that anti-Americanism has grown "deeper but not wider." And it is deepest in "old Europe" and the broader Middle East.

I like Gerson as a person, but his logic is vastly inferior to his writing ability. I like how he pretends our popularity is best reflected as a photograph unrelated to history. Any objective person would measure based on historical trends, but this wouldn't favor Gerson, his argument, or anyone who is/was a member of the Bush administration.

The second premise of this Democratic argument is that American popularity in these regions could be increased, easily and permanently, by overturning Bush policies

Nobody ever said permanently. Gerson injected that. Classic strawman argument.

And then he goes on to describe the war in Iraq as if it has made us safer and not resulted in more American deaths than 9/11 itself. I don't admire the philosophical pretzel Republicans have gotten themselves into.

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Every issue is the single most important issue to Obama...just depends who hes talking to. Here in Ohio, his commercial had someone saying Healthcare is the most important issue.... no thanks, I'll take gas prices among others

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WOW. Just another reason to completely and totally dislike all three Democratic candidates for President, if it's true they're all more interested in the opinions and acceptance of foreign peoples and governments than they are in putting America First.

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