As we get closer to the presidential election in three days, it’s clear that Barack Obama has secured the endorsement of several big-name supporters on the international stage. These are heavy hitters; voters should take their recommendations seriously. They and their families influence millions of people and their endorsements tell us something about their expectations for Mr. Obama’s second term.
In September Obama received the glowing support of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Well, I think he’s the Russian president. He has been playing a game of musical chairs between the presidency and the office of prime minister. A former member of the KGB (Soviet secret police), Putin continues to exercise his Soviet-style leadership over the Russian people. He insists that the re-election of President Obama would be best for relations between his country and ours. One can easily imagine why. Back in March, Obama told Dmitri Medvedev (Putin’s state puppet) that he would have “more flexibility” dealing with the Russians after his November election. Whatever it is that he’s planning to give the Putin, one can only imagine that it will be wildly unpopular with American voters. Otherwise, why hide it until after the election?
From the south, Obama has received the lively praises of socialist dictator and president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. “If I were American, I’d vote for Obama,” he happily clucked in an interview on Televen, a Venezuelan television corporation. Once a brave critique of Chavez, Televen has finally succumbed to dictatorial pressure. It now boasts a “neutral” status when it comes to issues of Venezuelan politics. Many Venezuelans, whose freedom is threatened by such a decision, have accused the corporation of giving in to the dictator’s threats. Better to have a job and all your fingers, I suppose. When the dictator calls, give him all the air time he wants. Even more interesting, when endorsing Obama, Chavez told his audience that if Obama were Venezuelan “he’d vote for me.” I find that easy to believe.
The third endorsement comes from a powerful Caribbean family. During the summer Mariela Castro visited the United States. She is the daughter of Raul Castro, the dictator of Cuba who took the reigns from his brother Fidel when the latter began to have health problems a few years ago. “I believe Obama needs another opportunity,” she said, “to move forward with his projects and his ideas.” Our government granted Ms. Castro a visa and allowed her the privilege of traveling and speaking freely. She enjoyed the blessings of liberty while she was here, despite the fact that her father’s government has held an American contractor now for nearly three years. According to his wife, Alan Gross has lost over a hundred pounds, is in poor health, and has a skin growth that needs proper medical attention. He may be dying, but at least he has free healthcare in Cuba.
And what about Mr. Romney? He has received the glowing endorsement of Lech Walesa, the Solidarity leader of Poland who led his country from Communism to freedom and who served as that nation’s first freely-elected president beginning in 1990. Walesa understands that if the United States gives up its position of international leadership there are others who are willing to fill the vacuum. In a meeting with Romney he told the candidate to “be successful!” He promised that Poland and other nations would help the US “to restore its leadership position.” Lech Walesa has dealt with men like Putin, Chavez, and the Castros of Cuba. He knows that their smiles and hearty handshakes hide a dangerous agenda.
So, America, what will it be? Which endorsement impresses you most? Among these big names, which of them represents the world you wish to leave to your children?
The Spanish people have a wise saying: Dime quienes son tus amigos y te dire’ quien eres. In other words, “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Could anything be more true?