The question whether it was better to be feared or loved was put forth in Robert DeNiro’s directorial debut The Bronx Tale between the two main characters of the movie. This question could be posed in reference to America’s foreign policy under the leadership of our last president. President B. Hussein Obama brought forth the change he promised in the area of foreign policy. The change is a humble and an apologetic posture to the rest of the world and our so-called enemies. President Trump chooses fear.
Obama wanted to be loved. He is in that category of people who shy away from confrontation and just simply wants the world to love us. We heard this mantra many times during the Bush years. People kept saying that the world hates us and it was all Bush’s fault. That we lost the respect of the entire world. They are saying the same thing about Trump now. This crowd kept ringing this bell for years. We needed to be loved and there is a huge portion of this country that feeds into this frame of mind. This is the crowd that doesn’t feel comfortable being the world’s only superpower. They feel we need to get into line with the rest of the world and not stand out. They are clueless to the notion that being feared has its benefits. How being feared by the rest of the world because of our strength and power helps keeps this unstable world together. Trump seems to understand this.
The effect of being feared becomes paradoxical when America uses its force for good in the world. That is the part the “loved” crowd doesn’t get. They look at the glass as half empty instead of half full. They always measure America through the prism of our mistakes and never see the good that is done by us for the rest of the world. They ignore that America’s projection of fear to the world has stopped more evil within the planet than a loving America could ever have done.
With all this peace, love and happiness, it was fear and only fear that ended World War II and saved millions of more lives in the process. After showing Japan why they should fear us, it was that fear that put an end to one of human kinds darkest moments. We did not try to love those kamikaze pilots into submission; we made them fear us. After fishing Saddam Hussein out of a spider hole in the Arabian desert, it was fear that made de facto leader Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya put down his weapons of mass destruction program and become more civilized. When the president of Liberia took over the African country through fraud, it was fear that made President Charles Taylor flee and leave that democracy alone. When he stared off the African coast and saw that American battleship on his front porch, fear brought peace to our African friends who built a democracy from the hard toils of our freed American slaves.
Somehow I feel if we parked a cruise ship off that coast, we might not have had that success that fear afforded us and our old friends in Africa. Now apperceiving that there is a balance between love and fear, it’s when we use either, that makes us smart. President Trump believes it is better to be feared. History will show whether or not he is right. Just ask the people living in the caliphate, oh wait, that is gone now…