Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Claremont Independent is currently at work building a new website, which will have blogging and podcast capabilities. We hope it will become the flagship of online journalism at the five college campuses and that it will win some of the awards it rightly deserves, if it had a bit of a remodeling.
Now we haven't taken the drastic step of canceling classes like the University of Virginia, so perhaps we should be grateful. But I'm troubled by this paragraph from The Fortnightly.
The official theme for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama is, "Renewing America's Promise, a vision that underscores the President-elect and Vice President-elect's commitment to restoring opportunity and possibility for all and re-establishing America's standing as a beacon of hope around the world."I doubt very much that the Athenaeum wrote this. I think it was more in line with what the Diversity Committee wrote for the occasion. But by getting the bias out in the open at least we can correct it. Let's start here: "Re-establish America's standing as a beacon of hope around the world"? "Restore opportunity and possibility for all"?
Clearly the Diversity Committee only prefers a certain kind of diversity - no doubt that of Western Europe or the Middle East -- and is ignorant of how President Bush's record actually stands up. Indeed, President Bush and his administration's policies have been responsible for well over half the world's populations living better lives. (I'm not the first person to make this argument, as you can see, but I thought I would expand it nonetheless.)
That's a bold claim, but let's see if I can make it. In the past decade, China, the world's most populous nature, has gone from poverty to prosperity. President Bush's free trade stance, though not as free trade as I would like, helped millions of Chinese people have a market for their goods. By intertwining America's and China's interests, he no doubt turned down the heat that had been simmering since that spy plane incident early in his administration. Also, President Bush successfully walked the tightrope between angering China and standing up for human rights. He was a strong advocate against a boycott of China and was even cheered at the Olympics. Not surprisingly, a recent poll from the Program on International Policy Attitude (PIPA) shows that the people of China have warmed up to President Bush.
President Bush also strengthened America's relationship with India. Unlike the Clintons who catered to the whims of a fickle Indian elite, President Bush spoke directly to the people of India by encouraging free trade policies with India's tech sector that have helped bring India into the 21st century. President Bush understood the economics and security go hand and hand. In 2005, a survey found that 62% of Indians thought President Bush's reelection was positive for global security. On a recent visit to the White House, Indian PM Manmohan Singh said to president Bush,“the people of India deeply love you.”
In Indonesia, President Bush wisely sent aid to help rebuild Aceh and other parts of Indonesia. In return, Indonesia's approval rating of President Bush skyrocketed to 80%! To be fair, President Bush got a rough start from his predecessor whose administration supported the murderous and deeply unpopular regime of Suharto. Indeed, one official referred to Mr. Suharto as "our kind of guy."
In Africa, the most populous country, Nigeria, has an extremely favorable opinion of President Bush, no doubt for his support of trade and aid to Africa. Of course this is a good thing because Nigeria is one of the world's largest Muslim nations and its population growth continues rapidly. Having them as an ally is no doubt in the U.S.'s interests.Throughout Africa President Bush is widely liked because of his steadfast (and to be fair, in my view misguided and misspent) support of foreign aid.
I hope to have demonstrated that President Bush's legacy is a bit more nuanced than the Fortnightly would have you believe in its praise for Obama.