Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Our Hedgehog

Victor Davis Hanson says:
The President has instead this "one big" idea. It goes something like this. For a quarter-century Islamic fascists in the Middle East have transferred the impoverished Arab Street's anger over its own endemic failure onto the bogeymen of the United States and Israel. And when terrorists, abetted by autocratic governments, struck the United States, they met mostly with habitual Western indifference and were further emboldened by outright appeasement. The problem with the sensitive, "don't offend them" foreign policy of pre-September 11 is that it ensured September 11 - as it would again.

To what does he allude?
It was the ancient Greek elegiac poet Archilochus who posed the dichotomy of “the Fox and the Hedgehog”: “the fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog one—one big one.”

While the poet’s exact meaning has been the subject of debate for over two millennia, the logical interpretation is the most natural: complex thinkers sometimes lose sight of the forest for the trees. Put simply: John Kerry can give 1,000 reasons why we should or should not stay in Iraq—or both at once. He will cite erudite foreign policy experts, and present it all as a sophisticated exegesis. George Bush cannot.

It is that single-minded, moral clarity that will help George Bush get reelected. To paraphrase a cliche, "He is the right man at the right time." If the big issue was about the size of government, he wouldn't be (right, Joe Scarborough?) There will be time for reigning in the government...hopefully in a second Bush term.

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