Web Letters | The Nation

Discomfited by Democracy

A discomfiting pattern

In Cairo, we have yet another example of Obama’s cowardice when it comes to matters of democracy. We ask our president to faithfully execute the laws, administer the federal bureaucracy and make some reasonable attempt at steering our nation in the direction of true north. These tasks, however, we do not require to be fulfilled to perfection; rather, although high hopes surge each inauguration day, we fully anticipate that political realities will force every orthogonality of idealism to run crooked.

In one thing, however, we demand and should invariably expect perfection of a president: the unflagging defense of liberty, at home and abroad. And here Obama has failed miserably—not once, but over and over again. In Tehran, Mr. Obama was indifferent to the quashing of youthful protest. In Tunis, he contented himself to ex post facto declarations of approval. In Cairo, he waited for the tides of history to race before he committed to democracy. In Harare, he continues to turn a blind eye to brutality. The oppressed peoples of the world look to the president of the United States to proudly march with the first legions of freedom, not hang back in the safety of the rear. They want to hear him sound the clarion trumpet of liberty, not the taunting kazoo of hypocrisy.

It is all well and good to compromise on an omnibus spending bill, but any president who compromises freedom for convenience cannot have my support, my trust or my vote.

Michael Sacerdote

Baltimore, MD

Feb 14 2011 - 12:59am

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.