But that's not to say that Obama is a Bush clone. After all, I doubt that Bush would have responded to Iranian President Ahmadinejad's demand of an apology for past wrongs against Iran with the hearty "Yes I can!" that President Obama did. Obama wrote a letter to the Iranian government offering his sincerest apologies - an empty gesture that was met by an Iranian declaration that the U.S.'s newfound willingness to talk was a sign of weakness. Nor would Bush likely have allowed for Vladimir Putin's Russia to seize control of supply transportation to and from Afghanistan following Kyrgyzstan's decision to evict U.S. forces from the Manas Air Force Base. And it's hard to see George W. Bush congratulating new Venezuelan President-for-Life Hugo Chavez on overcoming those pesky democratic institutions that so often stand in the way of one man's attainment of real power. Obama was quick to pick up the phone and make that call.
Despite spending years decrying Bush's supposed shredding of the Constitution, liberals have not taken issue with Obama's continuance of the same policies. It raises an important question: what did this country vote for last Nov. 4? Did we vote for a belief structure, or did we vote for Barack Obama, who may shift his beliefs at will and even adopt the unpopular policies of his predecessor and face no reprisals? Sadly, we seem to have elected the latter. Our leaders should not receive a free pass, nor should we follow their words merely because they came from their lips. I happen to agree with President Obama's decision to continue some of George Bush's policies, but I'm a dirty Republican and a conservative to boot. If I were a liberal who voted for Obama, I would be outraged by the President's refusal to deliver the change he promised.
If you travel to Russia or China, you can view the mummified corpses of Lenin and Mao. But in America, such displays are reserved for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In this country, we enshrine our ideals. Let's follow them, then, and expect the same of our leaders. Barack Obama has many ideas for this country, and it is important that we judge those ideas on their own merit. But it seems that for now most liberals are willing to adapt their belief structure to Obama' policies rather than ask that his policies adapt to their belief structure. That's a dangerous road, and in our present crisis, it's one we must walk with the utmost care.