The new leader of the free world

For the first time during my lifetime, the leader of the free world is not the President of the United States. That esteemed role was snatched from him yesterday by the prime minister of the tiny nation of Israel. His name is Benjamin Netanyahu. I wish he, or a man of his morals and fortitude, were our president. But with the void that currently exists in our own White House, those of us who value freedom and liberty must now turn to a foreign leader for the sort of leadership we once took for granted in our own president.

Yesterday, you see, Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech to our own Congress and warned his audience of the dangers that would result from the marriage of militant Islam and nuclear weapons — a marriage about which our own leader seems, to be generous, ambivalent. Yesterday, Benjamin Netanyahu looked and sounded presidential. He looked and sounded the way our own presidents once sounded.

Yesterday, our own leader looked small and irrelevant. In a presidency full of unpresidential moments, yesterday he looked his most unpresidential of all. Yesterday, our own president stood aside as the leader of a foreign nation walked onto his own turf and proclaimed himself as the leader of the free world, not out of arrogance, and not in so many words, but out of an ability and willingness to assume moral leadership and tell the truth about the dangers that face his own nation and, by extension, the free world. In other words, Benjamin Netanyahu is everything the U.S. president isn’t.

It was a bittersweet moment as we watched and listened to and applauded the words of Benjamin Netanyahu, because we know our own president is completely incapable and unwilling to assume such leadership. In the not-so-distance past, our own president would have given that speech. How ironic is it that the most presidential moment in Washington, D.C. during the last six years occurred as the prime minister of Israel stood at the same podium occupied by our own president a little more than a month ago during his State of the Union address? Is the American president even aware how small he looked yesterday? Is he aware that he totally and completely and willingly bequeathed his role to the leader of Israel? Does he even care? If he is willing to subordinate himself to the leader of Israel, to whom else is he willing to bow?

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