Friday, October 13, 2006

Steyn on National Security

(A small portion of Mark Steyn's recent interview with NRO's Kathryn Lopez about his new book America Alone).

Kathryn Lopez: Could which party wins in the November congressional elections change the course of history?

Mark Steyn: I think so. A vote for the Democratic party is basically a vote to return to Bill Clinton’s holiday-from-history. It would be nice if the Dems were full of Joe Lieberman types who are serious about national security or even Joe Biden types who at least talk in a portentous voice and pretend to be serious about national security. But you know that Peter Beinart book? “Why Liberals — And Only Liberals — Can Win The War On Terror”? If that’s true, we’re all doomed. It’s like publishing a book in 1942 called “Why Swedes — And Only Swedes — Can Win The Second World War.” The truth is 99.99 percent of them have got zero interest in getting in the game. They want to return to the Nineties when politics was about new Federal regulations for mandatory bicycling helmets, or whatever the hell Bill Clinton’s “legacy” is. I understand why, if you’re the proverbial soccer mom or John Edwards’ Dickensian shivering coatless girl, a bunch of nuclear mullahs doesn’t seem terribly relevant to your life. But what I try to do in America Alone is connect up the war and the big macro-trends with the home front. The fact is the assumption at the heart of Democratic-party thinking is that the natural destination of every advanced democracy is Scandinavia and that America’s just taking a little longer to get there than the Europeans. That kind of thinking is what’s done for Europe: it’s resulted in unaffordable welfare structures on declining human capital. In the end, Big Government is a national security threat. A vote for Nancy Pelosi — and don’t get me wrong; unlike many of my NR chums, I find her an oddly attractive woman — but a vote for Nancy Pelosi is a vote for the same complacency that’s killing the rest of the West.