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Imagine Scott Walker As President During Cuban Missile Crisis

May 17, 2015

There is a delightfully precocious golden-haired four-year-old who lives a couple of doors down the block.  Often she skips down the street and across our lawn asking for the sidewalk chalk along with our assistance in designing hopscotch with her name spelled out in the squares.   It is at these times that she also delivers the latest new pieces of information she is picking up from her parents about life around her.  The latest tidbit she is proud to share is her ability to point out a conifer and smile as she lets the needles poke at her small hands while informing us what we having growing in our front yard.

She looks at the maple but stumbles her tongue over the word deciduous and being unable to pronounce it is quickly engaging us in the need for chalk.

As I read the newspaper account Sunday of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker trying to make people believe he has knowledge about foreign policy reminded me of our young neighbor letting us know the latest new-found tidbit she discovers.

The problem with Walker is that there is no way to convince many of us that he has any real depth or curiosity about anything other than being a career politician.  I admit he is a great campaigner and a partisan-minded man who seems designed to run for office.  But to somehow pretend that he has any real clue or interest in the long-term problems of the Middle East or has thought seriously about the ways to mitigate differences between the Sunni or Shia other than what he has been forced to learn at briefings over the past months is just hard to believe.

I would have liked a reporter to ask Walker–before he got over-prepped for every possible question–if for instance he had read a couple of decades ago From Beirut To Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman?  It is a book many call brilliant and most insightful.   If not that book which one–other than the Bible–has he taken the time to read and ponder over, and how many years has he worked to broaden his knowledge of this area?

How much does Walker know about the Islamic faith and its history?    What history courses has he taken or what tools has been employed to broaden his understanding on the history of the area that once was the Ottoman Empire and morphed over time into the modern Middle East?  It seems most clear that the issues of that region are only going to continue to mushroom for a variety of reasons and so it follows that the nation needs a president who has more than a quick briefing from a binder as a background from which to proceed.

But when I see Walker talk about that region the image of points made on a 3×5 index card comes to mind.   There is no way he can talk in paragraphs on these topics and it shows.

I never feel like I need to know the answers to those questions from the likes of Senators Rubio or Graham or Governor Kasich simply because they never give me reason to think they are not serious-minded people with a fair amount of background knowledge they attained because they were simply interested in the world they live in.  I often disagree with them on a wide range of topics but would never think them intellectual lightweights.

I mention all this because it seemed so out-of-place to read and hear Walker talk about the Islamic State, Hezbollah, and the potential need to send in troops to that area to fight.   All I can see of Walker is a person who likes to campaign, wants to be president, and is able to mouth the words of those advisors who are positioning him to do well in the primaries.    Call me old-fashioned but I want someone who is not a yes-person to advisors in the Situation Room at a time of crisis but rather one steeped in history and background so to more effectively deal with the world that will need to be confronted.

Can anyone truly see things working out in our best interest if Walker had been at the helm in the Cuban Missile Crisis?  It was the savvy nature of President Kennedy and his background experiences which allowed him to not take the military suggestions and forge his own path.    There is nothing to Walker that suggests he has ever thought about a whole range of international concerns until Potomac Fever hit.    That concerns me, not because he is a Republican, but first and foremost because he is not prepared to lead our nation on the world stage.

At some point in the near future our young neighbor will be able to pronounce the word deciduous.  But that will not place her on my list of those I contact when I need my trees pruned.

Walker will learn more capitals in the Middle East and locate on his trips places that were named in the Bible but that does not make him a serious person when it comes to grappling with the complex and ever-changing dynamics that occur in a region that any president has to be most attuned to in order not to make huge mistakes.

This country needs a lot things, dear readers.  But first and foremost are presidential nominees for 2016 who are intellectually capable and ready to sit in the Oval Office.

5 Comments
  1. May 19, 2015 10:18 AM

    Tom,

    There is no way to dispute that act of going into Iraq on faulty and misleading reasoning and selling that to the public is not the most grievous blunder taken by the U.S. government in many decades. There is no way to distance the invasion of Iraq and the consequences that we see happening today. You may try and spin this on Obama but you have to own the past you supported. Might we add to the discussion here that it is not only liberals who know Bush to be dumb or try to run from him.

  2. Tom permalink
    May 19, 2015 9:05 AM

    It is shocking to read that a liberal thinks a conservative president was dumb. My understand was that Obama spent a fair bit of his college years quite stoned. We’ve all seen the pictures. In light of this, it might be more accurate to say that Obama was stoned in a place where many are well educated.

  3. May 18, 2015 3:39 PM

    Pkarm,

    It was Bush 43 who invaded Iraq–needlessly–thus creating a power vacuum and setting off the sectarian violence that had no leader able to stop it. Picking up the pieces of an 8 year failed presidency fell to President Obama who you may like or not–but there is no way to place him in any other category than highly educated. Bush also did not have an Arab Spring or the economic downturn in oil prices which has impacted Arab markets. There are no easy solutions but a bevy of reckless ones. That is why we need smart leaders as I stated for each of the presidential nominees come 2016.

  4. May 18, 2015 1:38 PM

    Deke while I always enjoy your writings this one drips of partisan ramblings. Did you have the same feelings about the organizer, a man who was so under qualified to be president it still is a running joke, because you cannot honestly say that Mr Obama was qualified to handle the Middle east and all of the issues. Since becoming president we have seen the rise of radical Muslims who are hell bent to bring destruction, chaos and perverted form of their religion to the world, and all Obama has been able to do is sit back and let it happen. To say Scott Walker is clueless is just sad when a man you support blindly has lead this country and the world to near Armageddon.

  5. May 17, 2015 11:19 PM

    It would be a great travesty for this nation if crowned president, for it would be the death knell of democracy.

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