“We’re better than this. Aren’t we?”


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?”

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/26/were-better-than-this-arent-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.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

9 thoughts on ““We’re better than this. Aren’t we?”

  1. Unfortunately, hope is not good enough. Latest data shows despite a virtual tie in Texas, Hispanics are still supporting Trump. As well as in Florida. Unbelievable!!!!

    I think the most revealing part of Boot’s piece is that even an avowed supporter of Israel as Boot, can’t support Trump. Take that, Jews for Trump!


  2. After extolling the virtues of so many ‘exceptional’ American accomplishments, Boot muses:
    “How can we now turn our backs on science and reason and embrace a president who spouts nonsensical conspiracy theories?”

    ‘How?’…Mr. Churchill had a good answer: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

    Sir Winnie has (unfortunately) been, and is continuing to be proven right. The Founding Fathers actually knew that, and is why they created a ‘Representative Democracy’. Their assumption was that the more educated and enlightened folks would ‘do the right thing’ in representing the nation and their constituents.

    Now we need to question who exactly Churchill was talking about – the ‘average voter’, or the average representative.

    The existential question embedded in this election, and for the period following – has our ‘little American experiment in democracy’ finally run its course, just like so many others? We’re really the only multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society that has lasted more than a nanosecond…and certainly the only one of our size.

    People ‘vote’ with their actions, their wallets…and their ballots. As you wrote Ted, “hope is not good enough.”

    What a country!


      1. …right, and more thoughtful. :-))

        Just a little joke. Keep up the good work…and I’ll see you in Portugal, and Sicilia.


  3. I am sick of these conservative Republicans calling out only Trump! Max Boot doesn’t mind all the dirty tricks of Republicans like Reagan, Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Roger Ailes, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, the Bushes, Mitch McConnel, etc. They were all okay. It was even cool to be a Republican in the eighties. Give me a break. He and his family should have stayed in Russia. If he doesn’t see the irony in that.


    1. He, at least, unlike Trumpsters, probably understands the concept of irony. You’re correct, Boot is part of a cynical, duplicitous group who, finally, are seeing the light. But it had to take a cretin like Trump to open his eyes. All I can say is, at least they’re open.


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