Andrew Bernstein “In Defense of the Cowboy”:

Even as our European critics use the “cowboy” image as a symbol of reckless irresponsibility, they implicitly reveal the real virtues they are attacking. European leaders assail Americans because our “language is far too blunt” and because we see the struggle between Western Civilization and Islamic fanaticism in “black-and-white certainties.” They whine about our “Texas attitude” and whimper that “an American president who makes up his mind and then will accept no argument” is a greater danger than murderous dictators. In short, they object to America’s willingness to face the facts, to make moral judgments, to act independently, and to battle evil with unflinching courage. [Capitalism Magazine, 2/27/03]

Who is more practical–the man with principles or the one who repudiates them? Who is more sophisticated–the man who reaches certitude through a grasp causes, or the one who restricts himself to the “here and now”? The Europeans and their intellectual lackeys in the American universities have swallowed uncritically the dogma of pragmatism–the doctrine, not that one must be practical, but that principles are the enemy of practicality. Their sneers and hostility to certitude are a pose, to conceal from themselves their anxiety at their own cognitive impotence.

The problem with GWB is that he’s not principled enough. As Bernstein writes:

The only valid criticism of President Bush, in this context, is that he is not true enough to the heritage of the Lone Star State. When the Texas Rangers went after a bank robber or rustler, they didn’t wait to ask the permission of his fellow gang members. Yet Bush is asking permission from a U.N. Security Council chaired by Syria, one of the world’s most active sponsors of terrorism.

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