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OPINION, May 4, 2008 /Christian Newswire/ -- Gary McCullough, director of the Christian Newswire, submits the following for publication and is available for comment:
When judging the performance of a president the grid one uses is the most influential factor. For many Americans that grid is national security.
With this in mind, which presidents have led our nation to a more secure status? And which presidents have left us more at risk?
When viewed through this grid I propose that President Jimmy Carter put America at physical risk more so than any other president. Today on a Sunday talk show, Mr. Carter continued putting Americans at risk as the self described authorized spokesman for HAMAS.
Let's not forget Carter paved the path for Khomeini to revive militant Islam. Carter's policies left him impotent, unable to free the Americans held hostage in Iran.
President Bush faces dismal public popularity ratings.
One tactic for a nation's leader whose popularity is low is to pick a fight in order to bring national unity in opposing a common threat. This is the ultimate abuse of "the tail wagging the dog" tactic. But it works.
What happens when a nation's leader employs the exact opposite tactic? What happens when a president whose popularity is low ignores the polls and continues on a course that makes the nation more secure?
President Bush ignored such popularity polls and took the fight to the enemy and the result is that we have a more secure and safe nation.
One soldier I spoke with while on his way back to the Middle East put it like this; we have drawn our enemies into a shooting gallery, as long as they keep coming out to fight us over there, they are not fighting us over here.
Given our present political climate the President cannot announce this "shooting gallery" as a policy. But the truth of the situation is self-evident. Our enemies are much easier to find and kill over there. Over there our enemies face our trained soldiers. Over there our enemies face weapons and tactics that could not be used within the borders of the United States.
Let's be honest for a moment. Without question, as a nation our security has dramatically improved because of President Bush's unstated "shooting gallery" policy.
Irrespective of our financial situation as a nation, the primary responsibility of a president is to keep us safe. Contrary to what one popular president who said, "It's the economy stupid," in reality, it is security that truly matters most. It is time we Americans stop acting like spoiled children who expect a parental president to increase our allowance.
It is time for us to thank President Bush for his policy of fighting militant Islam in the suburbs of Bagdad, and not in the boroughs of New York.
Using the grid of national security, during my lifetime, Jimmy Carter was our nation's worst president. But the category is not closed.
Who will face the threats to come? Which presidential candidate will best protect us from China's expanding military or a nuclear-armed Iran? Will it be one who is willing to ignore popularity polls to increase our national security? Or will it be someone who sees Jimmy Carter as a national defense advisor, someone who might take from Carter the title of "our worst president"?