They Always Blame America First

Saturday, December 9th, 2006 9:57 am by Neal
Jeane Kirkpatrick

Jeane Kirkpatrick, a former Democrat who became a Republican and joined the Reagan administration, has died at age 80. Kirkpatrick served as ambassador to the United Nations where her “Kirkpatrick Doctrine” established her as a strong supporter of freedom and a fierce anti-communist advocate.

Below is an excerpt of a speech that Kirkpatrick gave to the 1984 Republican convention before she formally became a Republican. Twenty years later, Zell Miller would give a similar speech in which he would recognize that his party — the Democratic Party — had abandoned the country. Kirkpatrick’s 1984 speech, “They Always Blame America First,” is so prescient that it could have been written yesterday to describe the self-loathing, blame-America-first, crowd of leftists, Socialists and anarchists currently in control of the Democratic Party. Kirkpatrick’s speech shows that there’s really nothing new with the current gaggle of Democrats — she exposed and classified them 22 years ago. As you read her speech below, note its relevance to our modern, political theater (and how little the Democrats have changed). The American people know better.

Rest in peace, Jeane Kirkpatrick.

This is the first Republican Convention I have ever attended. I am grateful that you should invite me, a lifelong Democrat. On the other hand, I realize that you are inviting many lifelong Democrats to join this common cause …

A recent article in The New York Times noted that “the foreign policy line that emerged from the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco is a distinct shift from the policies of such [Democratic] presidents as Harry S Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.” I agree …

When the San Francisco Democrats treat foreign affairs as an afterthought, as they did, they behaved less like a dove or a hawk than like an ostrich – convinced it would shut out the world by hiding its head in the sand.

Today, foreign policy is central to the security, to the freedom, to the prosperity, even to the survival of the United States. And our strength, for which we make many sacrifices, is essential to the independence and freedom of our allies and our friends …

The United States cannot remain an open, democratic society if we are left alone — a garrison state in a hostile world. We need independent nations with whom to trade, to consult and cooperate. We need friends and allies with whom to share the pleasures and the protection of our civilization.

We cannot, therefore, be indifferent to the subversion of others’ independence or to the development of new weapons by our adversaries or of new vulnerabilities by our friends.

The last Democratic administration did not seem to notice much, or care much or do much about these matters …

Jimmy Carter looked for an explanation for all these problems and thought he found it in the American people. But the people knew better. It wasn’t malaise we suffered from; it was Jimmy Carter — and Walter Mondale. And so, in 1980, the American people elected a very different president. The election of Ronald Reagan marked an end to the dismal period of retreat and decline ….

The Reagan administration has helped to sustain democracy and encourage its development elsewhere. And at each step of the way, the same people who were responsible for America’s decline have insisted that the president’s policies would fail.

They said we could never deploy missiles to protect Europe’s cities. But today Europe’s cities enjoy that protection.

They said it would never be possible to hold an election in El Salvador because the people were too frightened and the country too disorganized …

They said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do – they didn’t blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians – they blamed the United States instead.

But then, somehow, they always blame America first.

When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the “blame America first crowd” didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn’t blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don’t blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.

But then, they always blame America first.

The American people know better.

Read Norman Podhoretz’s tribute, “A true America hero.”

Another great memorial is here.

Don’t miss Kirkpatrick’s famous essay, “Dictatorships and Double Standards” which led to her Reagan appointment to the UN.

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