When I was a kid, there was a hauntingly beautiful Peggy Lee song played over and over on the radio called “Is That All There Is”. The lyrics of the song reflected excitement or despair at particular events in her life. She remembered her father scooping her into his arms to escape a house fire, the thrill of visiting a circus for the first time and a love grown cold. Whatever the outcome of her experiences, she shrugged and asked in perfect pitch, “Is that all there is”?
Recently trekking on a six-hour road trip on Highway 101 through Northern California, I was thinking about our country’s lack of bold and righteous leadership when coincidentally that song came on the radio. I compared Peggy Lee’s repeated question “is that all there is” to today’s lack of American and European leadership. I wondered aloud if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is all there is? Unlike our leadership here in the United States, Netanyahu has a crystal clear understanding of the lurking and growing dangers to the Western world’s security. Our world is upside down and what was deemed logical is now seemingly illogical. The party is over and grown- ups must go home, sober up and begin to lead now!
Barack Obama tried to convince us the war on terror ended with the killing of Osama Bin Laden. He won’t even state the two words “Islamic terrorism” and supposedly ordered such references deleted from the Pentagon’s military manuals. This is a denial of reality in the same vein as 1930’s Britain, when they refused to counter the emerging massive threat of the Third Reich.
Israel is the front door to the war on terrorism and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warnings should be heeded. Winston Churchill was shunned, ignored and belittled for sounding a similar alarm, begging the world to understand that ignoring evil only fuels it. Hamas, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and Hezbollah are but a few of the many Islamic terrorist organizations that repeatedly attempt to harm the United States and our allies financed and armed by the sinister regimes of Syria, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, China and others.
Why is confidence in our current leadership so low? Simply put, Mr. Obama lacks clarity of policy – if he has one – and fails to articulate the massive challenges to the security of the free world. He is seemingly on the wrong side of worldwide conflicts. Instead of fireside chats and a pronounced national security policy designed to build confidence and understanding, his priority is the pursuit of his 186thth round of golf at Martha’s Vineyard.
Further evidence of our listless leadership includes Vice-President Joe Biden, never one to leave a gaffe behind, who just announced Africa is a country rather than a continent. John Kerry believes “climate change” is our primary national security threat. Not worldwide terrorism already responsible for thousands of American deaths or an unsustainable national debt destined to obliterate any economic recovery, but climate change! Many of the demonstrably idiotic comments made by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are legendary and so tremendous in scope that it makes one wonder how truly stupid they think their constituency is – and maybe they are.
I ask again, is this all there is?
The Republican side of leadership shows more promise but has its own set of fools on stools. When Speaker of the House John Boehner appeared on one of the late night TV shows recently and was asked if he was interested in running for president, the only response he could muster was, “ I do drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes and I am not giving that up to be President of the United States.” I ask you, is this all there is?
Where is the next Ronald Reagan? Americans deserve better but it is up to us to demand it.
The United States and our allies are facing greater security threats than at any time in history. Proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons into the evil hands of those who boldly state they will see us in New York or soon fly their flag over the White House should be taken seriously by very serious leaders. A despotic terrorist never hides his true intentions. Unfortunately, too few are listening, too few understand and what we have is not good enough.
William Pollack is a Memphis, Tennessee-based broadcaster and movie theater owner/operator and freelance commentator.