Nicholas Goldberg: The reprieve we got on Nov. 8
The reprieve we got on Nov. 8
In a nutshell, the November 8 election — a presidential election — offered voters an opportunity to reject the president whose policies endangered the world order, and perhaps even the world.
At one moment, we were in real danger of losing this world order.
In a second, we had a president with one of the world’s most dangerous policies: a nuclear North Korea. On another, we faced a presidential election with a choice between an increasingly radical president and an increasingly radical Democratic Party.
These are the moments — not the whole truth, by any means — that we, as Americans, remember.
The president who made decisions that risked world order
George W. Bush has been called the worst president ever. But on November 8, his choices could not be called worse.
The president who made decisions that threatened the world order:
• Signed an act that created an Iraq that has never stabilized;
• Signed a global trade agreement that is hurting the world economy;
• Approved the massive bailout of a financial institution that caused our economy to tank and then failed to prevent a catastrophic crisis;
• Approved a law that gave the president the power to imprison Americans without charge or trial;
• Approved the invasion of Iraq and, for that matter, the war in Afghanistan;
• Approved the secret torture program.
The president who made decisions that might have endangered the world order:
• Signed an agreement that permitted Iran to have nuclear weapons;
• Signed an agreement that permitted North Korea to develop a nuclear weapons capability;
• Approved the torture program.
The president who made decisions that undermined international cooperation:
• Signed two agreements with Syria that made it easier for that country to launch attacks;
• Signed an agreement to allow China to become a “zone of peace” under the U.N. Security Council;
• Signed an agreement with Iran that made it harder for Tehran to become a peaceful regional power;
• Signed an agreement with Turkey that made it harder for that country to exercise its influence in the Middle East;