There are a great many defining moments in our country’s trek through the 20th century. Tucked away in a corner of American history is one that—for me—stands out as a true giant.
It was in Reykjavík, Iceland, October 1986. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for what would later become known as the “Reykjavík Summit.”
Gorbachev was there to tell Reagan to give up the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) missile shield.
Reagan was there to lean over and firmly tell the Russian leader “nyet.”
That one word embodies everything I love about that fleeting yet pivotal moment in American history.
It wasn’t a diplomatic dance-around-the-bush “no.”
It was no.
Unequivocally, undeniably, unambiguously, no.
Reagan had the best interest of his beloved country in mind, and he didn’t care what the rest of the world thought. His answer was firm, and resolute. As he once told his son: “It’s been a long time since they’ve heard ‘Neyt’ from an American president.”
A man takes pictures with his smartphone while listening to President Barack Obama during a town hall-style meeting held at Cross Campus, a hub for startup companies and entrepreneurs, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Recently President Barack Obama stood up in front of the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit and stated that climate change is the greatest threat we face as a nation. Not Islamic State, not the narco-terrorists and central American gang bangers pouring over our unguarded southern border, not Ebola. Climate change.
The amazing thing is that he actually uttered those words in the same breath as the threats I just laid out:
“For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week -- terrorism, instability, inequality, disease -- there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.”
I’ve had a few days to let this settle in. And once my knee-jerk “but what about Islamic State?!?!” passed, I came to a deafening conclusion:
It is Barack Obama himself who is the greatest threat we face as a nation.
No, it’s not because I happen to disagree with his political party. It’s not because I happen to think he’s a socialist. It’s not because of his hazy religious convictions (after all, one doesn’t host groups with known radical ties at the White House unless one is either dangerously ignorant, or complacent).
It’s because he either just doesn’t care, or he’s so blinded by political correctness that he’s unaware of the seriousness of the world we live in.
Let’s break this down.
Assuming for a moment that man-made climate change is settled science (it’s not), you’re telling me that it takes precendence over the burgeoning threat from hyper-violent Islamic State? That it takes precedence over the fact that Ebola is a true pandemic threat that has now reached our shores? That it takes precendence over the fact that we’re quickly reaching a point of no return with our national debt?
At the risk of downplaying the very, very serious threats we face from all fronts, it is a reality that the world will always be plagued by evil, sickness and disaster.
It’s who we have at the helm to lead the nation through it all that really matters.
When that leader can stand in front of a global body while the world is in such turmoil and say with a straight face that the most serious, long-term threat we face as a nation is climate change, we need to worry.
We are vulnerable. We are exposed.
You see, unlike Ronald Reagan in the face of Gorbachev, Barack Obama cares what the rest of the world thinks.
We can’t restrict inbound travel from “ground zero” countries in Africa to curtail the spread of Ebola because we might be seen as discriminatory.
We can’t refer to Islamic State “as Islamic” because it would make groups like CAIR mad.
We can’t monitor activity in mosques because that might imply that global terror is propagated by Muslims.
We can’t secure our border or deport illegal aliens because, otherwise, we’re anti-immigrant and anti-Latino.
We can’t take serious steps to curtail our debt and spending because that would mean telling people that they have to take responsibility for their own lives.
We can’t have a conversation about the fact that politically-correct appointments to positions requiring superior physical stature and strength (vis-à-vis the Secret Service) might actually be putting the president (and thus, our government) in danger.
Do you see a pattern? While we relegate these and many other concerns to the confines of political correctness, the world burns on.
In the face of so much evil and chaos, our leader chose to place weather at the top of the list, as if in the next week, month, year, or even years we’ll experience our very own “Day After Tomorrow.”
Quite frankly, the science simply isn’t there to back it up at this point. And even if it were, now is the time to worry about the wolves at our door, not the lion that’s a thousand miles away.
A leader who doesn’t truly recognize threats—and face them head on—is indeed the greatest threat of them all.
Mary Ramirez is a full time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com – a political commentary blog, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: email@example.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
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