2007 was a year when many were forced to re-evaluate decisions, perceptions and conclusions. It turned out that many of the things we thought we knew were wrong–and a number of leaders need to be given a second look. Below are nine examples of conventional wisdom that wasn’t so wise.
1) Iraq: “A Lost Cause”. Not so fast. One year ago nearly everyone in the elite media had buried President Bush under his stubbornness on Iraq. Bush deserves credit for his leadership under withering political fire. Our men and women in uniform deserve credit for their loyalty to a country that gave up on their mission. And David Patraeus deserves credit as the greatest American general since Dwight D. Eisenhower. His surge strategy is clearly working. Many are owed apologies.
2) Congress: “Democrats Can Do Better”. One year after taking control of the Legislative Branch and Democrats have next to nothing to show for their promises to the American people. They couldn’t even deliver for The Far Left which wanted them to end the mission in Iraq. Here in Oregon, total Democrat control of the state government turned out to mean what it always means-government, bureaucracy, taxes and fees all grow. I predicted a short life for Democrat majorities in Congress (one or two terms at most). I stand by my prediction.
3) Hollywood: “Patriotic & In Touch”. For the last four years, Tinseltown has been turning out one movie after another that portrays American soldiers as idiots, drug addicts, criminals, lost souls and victims. The War on Terror is attacked overtly and subtly as fascist, McCarthyism, evil, sadistic, phony or fueled by corporate greed. The gross receipts from these films wouldn’t buy Oprah’s next house. Americans are rejecting Hollywood’s cynical attitude and their repeated attacks on our country’s values and leadership. There is a pile of money to be made by any producer willing to start giving audiences Pro- American pictures again.
4) Iran: “Conflict is Imminent”. A recent U.S. intelligence report seems to suggest that Iran curtailed its nuclear ambitions when they saw us invading their neighbor Iraq. Clearly American strength motivated both Libyan and Iranian leaders to re-evaluate our determination. Teddy Roosevelt was correct. What we don’t know is what Iran has been doing for the last two years as America’s will waned. The issue of Iran and their worldwide support of terror will now fall to the next Presidential administration.
5) Pakistan: “General Musharraf Will Maintain Stability”. The lid came off of Pakistani radicals in 2007. Gen. Musharraf will be forced to step aside in 2008 and relinquish control to a more democratically elected government. All this at the urging of the United States. Whoever leads this nuclear-armed Muslim country, Americans will be expecting help resolving our problem with terrorist safe havens in the Northern Pashtun area. Pakistan may end up worse-off without Musharraf.
6) Global Warming: “The Debate is Over”. The most radical elements of this worldwide movement look and sound more like religious fundamentalists with each passing day. Finally, large numbers of scientists are beginning to challenge this juggernaut which plays fast and loose with the Scientific Method and threatens the lives and progress of millions in the world’s poorest countries by raising energy and food prices. Nearly one hundred years ago, the world’s self-appointed elites blindly embraced another worldwide collectivist ideology. Billions suffered. Those who do not learn from history…
7) President Hillary Clinton: “Inevitable”. She may not even win her primary. I still think she’s the favorite on the Democrat side. Her real victory was intimidating all the other credible Democrat candidates from entering the race in the first place. However, if Republicans refrain from going overboard in their attacks on her, I believe she can be defeated in November (Only Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney seem plausible primary winners over the next two months). If the Democrats choose someone else, the odds for Republicans improve.
8.) The Economy: “Mishandled”. President Bush’s tax cuts not only revived the economy, they also generated extra revenue to the U.S. Treasury. Each year, Bush detractors have predicted a recession, yet the economy seems to weather every storm including this year’s sub-prime meltdown. Bush’s economy has now surpassed Clinton’s in growth. The deficit as a percentage of GDP is lower than the 40-year average. Bush deserves the credit.
9) American Entertainment Culture: “A Net Good”. American is suffering from a distinct lack of celebrity role models. From Hollywood we get mostly drunks, gangsters, exhibitionists and extreme narcissists. From the world of sports–steroid users, dog fighters, brawlers and cheaters. Some example for the nation’s children. Expectation levels have fallen through the basement. Either I’m just getting older and joining the never ending chorus of pop culture critics, or we are heading for a serious correction in this country. If so, bring it on!