Concluding Postscript On John Bolton

I understand that members of the president’s team serve at the discretion of the president.  This much is clear and has to be respected.  However, I am more concerned about the fallout for the conservative movement, as the firing of John Bolton seems to be stoking the flames of the division and recrimination in the conservative ranks.

I did not find constructive the words of Tucker Carlson, when he referred to Bolton as “a man of the left” and as one the “most progressive [i.e. liberal] people” in the Trump administration.

As a Cuban-American who can vouch for Bolton’s long-standing commitment to the cause of freedom for Cuba, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries in the grip of left-wing governments, I found it extremely disconcerting that anyone would dare to pin the label of “leftist” on Bolton.

I also find problematic that my fellow conservatives array themselves into the bands of (true) conservatives versus the neo-cons.  I realize that Bill Kristol, a bona fide neo-con, has been an anti-Trumper for some time.  But even Bill is no leftist.

Please let us get out words straight, before they lose any meaning; and worse, before the critics of conservatism use our divisions against us.

The editorial board of the WSJ wrote, after Iran bombed the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, that “Bolton was right”; and many conservatives (and liberals) are criticizing the president for not authorizing military action, regardless of the scale, against Iran.

Again, this is not the time for recrimination, and here I also include John Bolton.  One-upmanship does not do anybody any good.

I am not going to second-guess the president, but I would say that for any president to lock himself into a rigid point of view—believing that he has to be either the policeman of the world, or an isolationist and non-interventionist, come what may—is a mistake.

What is demanded of the highest office of the most powerful nation on earth is the wisdom and the flexibility to know how, when, and in what measure to respond to a crisis—always heeding and depending on the particular circumstances of the case.

I salute and respect the president for giving the opportunity to Iran to come to the table to negotiate, even though I myself have called for intervention in Venezuela.   My own instincts align with Bolton’s.

The ball is in Iran’s court—and I hope it has the wisdom to take advantage of this window of opportunity for dialogue, because it may not be open much longer—and its actions in the coming days will dictate whether we keep following the path of restraint, or whether we consider other options on the table.

The stakes are very high, in Venezuela, in Iran, in North Korea.  The time for partisanship and internecine struggles among us conservatives must stop for the sake of our nation.