Like A Slow Motion Train Wreck
Vol: 105 Issue: 26 Saturday, June 26, 2010
What is wrong with these people? I think that is a fair question to ask of a person who cheerfully advocates policies that are all but certain to result in self-destruction.
Timothy Geithner does represent the United States, right? These United States? Measured against his comments to the BBC concerning America’s economic future, it’s hard to tell.
If he is talking about these United States and not some fictional America in a post-apocalyptic mini-series, America’s biggest financial problem isn’t the mortgage crisis.
It’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Well, maybe Geithner isn’t America’s biggest financial problem – but only because we’ve got so many – most of which can be laid directly at Geithner’s feet.
In an interview with the BBC, Geithner essentially told the Brits that America’s best days are behind her and not to look for the US to pull the world out of its economic malaise.
He said that the world “cannot depend as much on the US as it did in the past” and that other major economies would have to help share the load.
I have to agree in principle; the administration’s handling of the economy has been like a slow-motion train wreck. It’s like watching the engine going over the trestle, transfixed and unable to look away as the rest of the train is pulled over the brink.
What I don’t understand is why Geithner – and the rest of the administration – feel it necessary to go abroad to air our dirty laundry.
In 1950 Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg first articulated the proposition that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” In 1950 the White House was held by Democrat Harry Truman and America was at war with North Korea.
Vandenberg’s point was that America’s official voice be unified so as to speak with maximum authority against those who seek to divide and conquer us. In his early legislative career, Vandenberg was a fiercely Republican partisan.
During the Roosevelt administration Vandenberg opposed every Roosevelt proposal identified by a set of capital letters (NRA, AAA, WPA, etc) and was a staunch opponent of US involvement in the war in Europe – until Pearl Harbor.
From that moment forward, Vandenberg was an American first and a partisan second and so he remained until his death in 1951. Vandenberg’s principles didn’t change but his perspective did. Domestic partisan politics stopped at the water’s edge.
When it came to the international arena, America was the United States.
It wasn’t that Vandenberg was bipartisan. “Bipartisan” is one of those words that is so self-contradictory as to render it effectively meaningless. To be bipartisan is to simultaneously hold conflicting views.
As John Hawkins explained it in a recent TownHall column, “Five Reasons Moderates Are Wrong About Bipartisanship“:
“It’s like one side has brought the ingredients for a chicken pot pie and the other side is back from the supermarket ready to make a chocolate cake. Then people say, “Gee, why don’t both of you get together and make one dish out of all that?” How can that work? Not only does each side disagree with their opponents, they believe their “solutions” will damage the country.”
The Vandenberg Doctrine simply expressed the proposition that America is bigger than the sum of its parts. That doctrine was abandoned by the Democrats following Al Gore’s defeat in Election 2000.
The John Kerry campaign was waged primarily in the international media. The international media was so engaged that when George Bush was re-elected, the international media wondered aloud;
“How could 59,054,087 People Be So Dumb?”
Americans were evidently stung by the global approbriation over the country’s refusal to elect a far-left quisling in 2004 since they rejected a bona-fide conservative war hero in favor of an unknown Chicago liberal based entirely on the fact that America had never had a black president.
Recall the words of Vice President Joe Biden while himself still a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination:
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. . . I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
The problem with elected a candidate based entirely on the basis of his race is now manifest. Everything is about race. Arizona passes a law requiring the state to uphold federal immigration law and Obama chooses to criticize the law as ‘racist’ — and does so from abroad.
In the past two years the administration has taken America’s dirty laundry to the Europeans so often that even the Europeans are getting tired of it.
America elected Barack Obama in 2008, fully aware he was rated the most liberal member of the US Senate in 2007. But in recent years, European and OECD countries have been leaning center-right: Merkel in Germany, Sarkozy in France, Berlusconi in Italy, Harper in Canada.
Obama’s manifest criticisms of his own country from abroad have not won America any new friends and they have cost us a lot of old ones. Europe loved to hate George Bush, but they at least knew where he stood.
While Obama offers criticisms of his country, counting on the Bush Derangement Syndrome to innoculate himself from blame, the effect has been to bring reality into focus.
Iran is about to go nuclear and has rockets that can reach Europe. Roving bands of juvenile jihadi warriors patrol the streets of European capitals burning cars and looting shops whenever they feel Islam has been sufficiently insulted.
Europe’s fifty year experiment with socialism has so priced European goods out of the market that nobody can afford to buy them, including Americans.
And the Europeans have recognized the limitations of the diplomacy-only foreign policy being espoused by US administration officials abroad every time a microphone is thrust before them.
Viewed from the secular perspective, America is a slow-motion train wreck. But viewed from the perspective of Bible prophecy, what looks like a horror show is really evidence that the Lord is about to return.
According to Bible prophecy, in the last days, the preminent power in the world will be headquartered in Europe. There is no reference in Bible prophecy to any nation resembling the United States of America, with the exception of the description recorded in 2nd Timothy 3:1-6.
So while I watch the engine going over the trestle, it is with a sense of resignation and (almost) a sense of anticipation. What the administration is doing to America is nothing short of catastrophic — but is exactly in line with the prophecies of Scripture for the last days.
For believers, there is an enormous sense of comfort to be had from knowing that all the things we are seeing take place are not occurring in a vacuum but are instead part of the Divine Plan of the Ages.
The plan was outlined in the Scriptures in advance specifically so that when the Church sees all these things begin to come to pass, we will know that our redemption draws near. (Luke 21:28)
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”
“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 5:7-8)
If there is any comfort to be had from watching America’s slow motion train wreck, it is in the knowledge that we’re not on it when it hits bottom.
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)