America's Ideologue in Chief
Ideology is substitute religion, and Bush's beliefs were on display in his address to the Legion, where he painted the "decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century" in terms of good and evil.
"On the one side are those who believe in the values of freedom … the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism, the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest."
Casting one's cause in such terms can be effective in wartime. In his Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural, Lincoln converted a war to crush Southern secession into a crusade to end slavery and save democracy on earth.
Wilson recast a European war of imperial powers as a " war to end war" and "make the world safe for democracy." FDR and Churchill in the Atlantic Charter talked of securing "the Four Freedoms," but were soon colluding to hand over Eastern Europe to the worst tyrant and mass murderer of the 20th century.
The peril of ideology is that it rarely comports with reality and is contradicted by history, thus leading inevitably to disillusionment and tragedy. Consider but a few of the assertions in Bush's address.
Said Bush, we know by "history and logic" that "promoting democracy is the surest way to build security." But history and logic teach, rather, what George Washington taught: The best way to preserve peace is to be prepared for war and to stay out of wars that are none of the nation's business.
"Democracies don't attack each other or threaten the peace," said Bush.
How does he then explain the War of 1812 [os EUA declaram Guerra aos Britânicos em pleno conflito com Napoleão], when we went to war against Britain, when she was standing up to Napoleon? What about the War Between the States? Were not the seceding states democratic? What about the Boer War, begun by the Brits? What about World War I, fought between the world's democracies, which also happened to be empires ruling subject peoples?
In May 1901, a 26-year-old Tory member of Parliament rose to issue a prophetic warning: "Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than the wars of kings." Considering the war that came in 1914 and the vindictive peace it produced, giving us Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler, was not Churchill more right than Bush? (...)" America's Ideologue in Chief by Patrick J. Buchanan