By Doug Stevens
Much has been written and reported about the lack of leadership by President Obama in matters relating to the economy and his disdain for entrepreneurship. I cannot recall any legislation during his entire term that was passed with some collaboration or cross party support. We have had and continue to have the Win/Lose political leadership of the Chicago style of management. Though a number of initiatives have been proposed, none have been worked collaboratively. This is very troubling, but now more than ever, we see the danger of the leadership void in foreign policy.
Even as I am writing this, the situation has worsened in Syria. We have an international humanitarian and Islamic Fundamentalist takeover in the country of Mali. We see the Muslim Brotherhood extending its influence and control in a number of ‘Arab Spring’ countries, most notably in Egypt. Deployment of chemical and biological weapons is now being actively discussed by Syria. The radical Islamist movement continues to progress. Al Qaeda and its surrogates are certainly not on the run as Secretary Panetta was recently quoted as saying.
Where is the western plan to contain and resist the radical Islamist agenda? Where is our President on dealing with these crises? Yes, I do believe that our pocketbooks may be the most influential single factor in making a Presidential voting decision this fall, but I am becoming increasingly concerned about the decline in the safety of American interests internationally and in the continuously increasing risk to our security by the lack of defined and upheld American foreign policy.
We are in the middle of Governor Romney’s first foreign trip as the presumptive Republican candidate. It gives me great hope that the American public will come to see his resolute determination to a principled and determined approach to American foreign policy. It wasn’t until this week that I understood that Governor Romney has a personal association with Prime Minister Benjamin Netahyahu of Israel. This is a great comfort to me to know that the one country that will always be in the center of the tornado of change in the Middle East will have a personal connection to what I hope will be our future President, Mitt Romney.
I hope in the public discourse of the strengths and weaknesses of the presidential candidates that the differences in approach to foreign policy will take a more prominent position. We need a man of action leading our foreign policy, not a cautious, play both sides against the middle community organizer; notwithstanding the one or two strong positions he has taken, Obama has not led with strength at all or consistently.
There have been some very memorable moments in our country’s history of strong, decisive leaders. One example for me includes the decision of Harry Truman to use a nuclear bomb in Japan. That decision took incredible foresight and courage. John F. Kennedy’s standoff with Nikita Kurshchev over missiles in Cuba took great courage, especially for a new, young, inexperienced President. There is also Ronald Reagan’s powerful and prophetic statement in June of 1987, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
We must have a leader that exudes this kind of confidence and leadership in order to rally the nation in unity. I believe that Governor Romney is just that kind of leader. We have seen that President Obama prefers a conciliatory leadership style. With radical Islamism on the rise, that weakness just won’t work. We must have a clear foreign policy and the leader of our country must continuously demonstrate the will to carry out that policy. Words in these kind of situations are just not enough. Yes, President Obama can give great speeches, but we are desperately in need of great actions.
I look forward to better foreign policy days with the election of Governor Romney as President of the United States. Please join me in working to see this happen.
Mr. Stevens lives in Laguna Niguel, CA with his wife Susan. He has over 30 years of sales, sales management, marketing and business development experience. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from University of Utah and earned a Masters of Arts in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles.