Shouldn’t we be reading stories about Jeb Bush campaigning in the United States? Why are we hearing about what Germans think about him?
Since he is running to be this nation’s President, I have been expecting to see Jeb Bush campaigning in… this nation.
But then I saw this headline at Politico.com: “Germans conflicted about the Bush brand.”
Jeb Bush, kicking off a six-day European tour, will pay tribute on Tuesday to America’s alliance with Western Europe, calling it “as relevant as the day it was founded” and arguing that our long-time allies want a more engaged United States.
Before saying anything about the substance of the story, I want to register my uneasiness with the setting. Why would a Presidential candidate go on a six-day tour of another continent when he is supposed to be trying to get American votes? This story is about what Germans think of Jeb Bush, but why should that really matter to us? I hated it when we were told that the reason Barack Obama should become President is because of how “the world” would view him. The same applies in this case.
Hopefully, the reason for Jeb Bush campaigning in Europe is that he thinks it will gain him American votes. It seems preposterous to me that anyone would actually decide in favor of Jeb Bush for that reason, but I still hope it is what Jeb Bush is aiming at. Otherwise, Jeb Bush campaigning on a six-day tour overseas brings up much more questionable possibilities—like he is hoping other countries will support his campaign. This was another issue that surfaced late in the Obama campaign in 2008.
What bothers me most, though, is that the story is written as if Bush is indeed campaigning in Europe and trying to win against Hillary:
According to Bush’s foreign policy advisers, two of whom spoke with POLITICO about the trip, he will try to introduce himself as a pragmatic realist, not a visionary who stirs Europe’s passions – for better and for worse – as the last two American presidents have done.
One area of emphasis is trade, where Bush will call for “a serious plan to complete the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.” Bush advisers note it’s a place to draw a contrast with Hillary Clinton, who, they argue, “has taken a dive” on the issue.
“If he can come across as someone sober, reasonable, who understands Germany – not a neocon like his brother, not naïve like Obama – he can be the reasonable American,” said Cameron Munter, a long-time diplomat and the incoming president and CEO of the EastWest Center in New York.
But it’s not clear disaffected Germans will give him the benefit of the doubt.
Um. So what? What happens if Germans don’t give Jeb Bush the benefit of the doubt? Is Bush afraid they won’t vote for him? The entire tenor of this story makes it seem as if the outcome of the election is determined, to some degree, by a European vote.
Someone explain this to me. Why is Jeb Bush campaigning in Germany?
One last note: since I quoted the story about Jeb Bush’s message on his European tour that “America’s alliance with Western Europe” is “as relevant as the day it was founded,” I had better point out that the alliance is formally ratified as NATO, a treaty organization that, despite North Atlantic in its name, includes Poland and Estonia—two other nations that Jeb Bush is visiting.
To claim that this organization, that no longer has a name that makes any sense, is as relevant as the day it was founded to resist the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe, is a bold lie. The fact that NATO has now not only absorbed Warsaw Pact countries, but even former Soviets of the U.S.S.R., demonstrates that, in fact, it is we who are the aggressors deliberately trying to push hegemony directly onto Russia’s borders. Our work destabilizing Ukraine should prove that to even the most skeptical.
This is all arrogance and lying.
It will not end well.