Max Boot of the Washington Post asks the question.
I answer with a question and a comment: But are we? I guess we’ll find out next week.
Max Boot is a historian, best-selling author and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for The Washington Post and a global affairs analyst for CNN.
Before joining the Council on Foreign Relations in 2002, Boot spent eight years as a writer and editor at the Wall Street Journal, the last five as op-ed editor. From 1992 to 1994 he was an editor and writer at the Christian Science Monitor.
Boot was born in Moscow. His parents, both Russian Jews, emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1976 and moved to Los Angeles, where he was raised. Boot was educated at the University of California, Berkeley (BA, History, 1991) and Yale University (MA, Diplomatic History, 1992). He began his career in journalism writing columns for the Berkeley student newspaper The Daily Californian. He later stated that he believes he is the only conservative writer in that paper’s history.
Boot is a strong supporter of Israel and opposed the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. He wrote that “the reason Israelis aren’t dismantling the settlements (and that President Bush isn’t pressing them to do so) has nothing to do with the views of American Jewish groups and everything to do with the dismal record of recent Israeli concessions in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. In both cases (as well as at the Camp David negotiations in 2000) Israelis thought that territorial concessions would lead to peace. Instead they led to the empowerment of terrorists.”
In general, Boot considers himself to be a “natural contrarian.” He identifies as a conservative, once joking that “I grew up in the 1980s, when conservatism was cool.” He is in favor of limited government at home and American leadership abroad. But, he strongly opposed Trump’s 2016 presidential candidacy, and was an advisor to Marco Rubio in his 2016 presidential bid. But, unlike his former boss, Boot has become highly critical of the Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Today, Max Boot published this Op-Ed in The Washington Post, “We’re better than this. Aren’t we?”
In the column, Boot asks the question a lot of people ask:
How could President Trump be so awful and yet maintain the support of so many? This has been a terrible indictment, to me, of the country I love. But my faith in the United States, while battered, has not vanished. I continue to believe — to hope — to pray — that we are better than this. Aren’t we? We certainly should be better than this.”
And, he closes his column with this:
Please, my fellow Americans, I beg of you: Do not let the Trump presidency define the United States for future generations. Electing Trump once can be written off as an aberration; electing him twice will leave an indelible stain on our history. Trump will see reelection as an endorsement of his first-term misconduct and a license for even greater abuses to come. The United States will cease to inspire hope — as it did for a young boy who came here in 1976 — and instead instill pity and fear. We cannot, we must not, turn our backs on the “better angels of our nature” in favor of hatred and division, irrationality and resentment.
We are better than this. Aren’t we?
Are we? I guess we’ll find out sometime next week.