Major Frank Burns, the despised doctor in the 1970s comedy series “M.A.S.H” was tutoring a group of young people and misspoke during a class. A spate of giggling prompted Burns to testily snarl that people always think it’s funny when one of their betters makes a mistake.
Some nations seem to view America as a Frank Burns-type society after the January 6 Capitol breach.
America, as a country, is arguably more compatible than Frank Burns, but Venezuela, China and Iran, none of whom could hold a fair election to save their life, have scorned the U.S after the Capitol insurrection.
Departing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other allies are wary of America’s abrupt policy shifts whenever the White House changes hands. No one said that America is perfect, but no other nation is vying to be one of our democratic “betters” either.
George W. Bush got it right when he called for America to be a humble but strong nation during a 2000 Presidential debate with Al Gore. “If we’re an arrogant nation,” Bush said, “(other nations) will resent us.” Bush didn’t follow his own advice. Now there’s a hint of global “I-told-you-so-ism” in the air.
The Biden team is struggling at home and abroad. Hopefully they’ll learn to exercise the more humble, reasoned approach to governing that Bush preached but didn’t practice.