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Tom Wolfe: Bush Doctrine Monroe Doctrine's Fourth Corollary.

Last week, WILLisms.com commented on Americanism.

Tom Wolfe, an intellectual hero of WILLisms.com and recent author of I Am Charlotte Simmons, writing in today's The New York Times, notes that Bush's brand of Americanism is the fourth corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

Mockingly, he writes,

"Surely some bright bulb from the Council on Foreign Relations in New York or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton has already remarked that President Bush's inaugural address 10 days ago is the fourth corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. No? So many savants and not one peep out of the lot of them? Really?"


For Tom Wolfe, President Bush's Second Inaugural Address is an echo reminiscent of the words of T.R., Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.

'The steady aim of this nation, as of all enlightened nations,' said the Echo, 'should be to strive to bring ever nearer the day when there shall prevail throughout the world the peace of justice. ...Tyrants and oppressors have many times made a wilderness and called it peace. ...The peace of tyrannous terror, the peace of craven weakness, the peace of injustice, all these should be shunned as we shun unrighteous war. ... The right of freedom and the responsibility for the exercise of that right cannot be divorced.'


While the Monroe Doctrine included only the Western hemisphere, and dealt specifically with European influence, it has been updated thrice over time. However, through its varying permutations, it has always maintained its core philosophy of Americanism. Wolfe asserts:

"By Mr. Bush's Inauguration Day, the Hemi in Hemisphere had long since vanished, leaving the Monroe Doctrine with - what? - nothing but a single sphere ... which is to say, the entire world.

For the mission - the messianic mission! - has never shrunk in the slightest ... which brings us back to the pretty preambles and the solemn rhetorical throat-clearing ... the parts always omitted from the textbooks as superfluous. 'America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one,' President Bush said. He added, 'From the day of our founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the maker of heaven and earth.'

David Gelernter, the scientist and writer, argues that 'Americanism' is a fundamentally religious notion shared by an incredibly varied population from every part of the globe and every conceivable background, all of whom feel that they have arrived, as Ronald Reagan put it, at a 'shining city upon a hill.' God knows how many of them just might agree with President Bush - and Theodore Roosevelt - that it is America's destiny and duty to bring that salvation to all mankind."

Promoting liberty is not Imperial Hubris, or even anything new; it has always been America's purpose; it is what has made America the greatest force for good in the history of the world.

President Bush did not invent, but he has revived, America's purpose, after years of vacation immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. Bush has resurrected America's mission. Today's elections in Iraq are the tangible manifestation of Americanism.

While liberals like John Kerry believe Americans should not "overhype" the election in Iraq, the bravery demonstrated by the Iraqi people is inspiring and encouraging. What a great day in the history of freedom.

Posted by Will Franklin · 30 January 2005 05:00 PM