Obama, the supposed liberal, also offers some considerable, bizarre reversals in the meaning of that word. A couple of years ago when a brilliant conservative Middle East analyst asked me if I, too, was a conservative now, I said that I remained a liberal. In my view, the problem is not liberalism itself but the way that the far left has taken over liberalism, as Communism tried—but failed—to do in the 1930s.
For me, though, a liberal president is one who is harshly critical of dictatorships. He has been the kind of person who understands the importance of ideas and the value of America’s good side throughout history. He didn’t spend his time denouncing U.S. mistakes so much as urging others to follow the American system of democracy and reasonably regulated free enterprise.
Such a president hates totalitarianism because he extolled the liberty embodied by the United States. A liberal president wasn’t someone eager to suck up to repressive dictatorships but someone who could unite democratic and moderate states.
Will some presidential successor of Obama have to apologize some day to all those people who were crushed by the dictatorships he is coddling?
In this sense, Obama is a very conservative president.
A sophisticated president, for me, is not just someone with university degree credentials and slick delivery, even if unenhanced by teleprompter, but someone who knows how the world works. This includes knowing not everyone thinks the same way and that ideas matter.
In this sense, Obama is a very uneducated president. ...