Friday, December 30, 2016

Losing our place in the league

I am no football expert, but I have to believe that the Patriots have a plan in place for the post-Brady era. Of course, we all hope that day does not come for many more years and playoff appearances, but clearly the value of the franchise is too high for the ownership to let the team lose its place in the league.

I am no foreign policy expert either, but even casual observers might note that in recent years, it seems like the United States is not the world power it used to be. How we’ve ignored the crisis in Syria, our dealings with Iran — and most recently, our deteriorating relationship with Israel — makes me think that we’ve ceded our role as a world leader. With a Republican Congress and a Trump White House ready to unwind much of the domestic policy that was thought to be the Obama legacy, I think we may find (for better or worse) that the real Obama legacy is that we’ve disengaged from the rest of the world.

American politics is cyclical. With the exception of Vice Presidents who have attained office through death or resignation, Reagan is the only President to have a “third term” since Roosevelt. However, our position as a world leader has been steady and certainly, our strong relationship with Israel has never wavered until now. I am personally sickened that we have not done more to end the suffering in Syria. It’s a sad day for America when people are being slaughtered and we offer them no protection. And last week, we ABSTAINED from voting on a UN resolution condemning Israel’s settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. For more than 40 years, we’ve stood up for Israel (in an increasingly anti-Israel UN) and vetoed such resolutions. Secretary Kerry’s remarks following our abstention included. “Israel can be Jewish or democratic, but not both.” I am not certain whether he’s asking for them to give up their heritage or their democracy.

So what’s the plan? We’ve heard a lot from President-elect Trump through Twitter and through his appointments to know that he differs greatly from the Obama administration, but “I’m going to do the opposite” is not a plan either. Maybe Bill Belichick can help.

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