Dear Ambassador Bolton,
I do not know if you saw the Republican presidential debate last night (just in case you did not, here is the transcript via Politisite). I am all but certain the debate will leave or has left you as disappointed as I am at our current crop of Republican candidates for the Oval Office. Yet this was merely the latest in a string of debates that made clear that there is a yawning and dangerous vacuum in the field – one that only you can fill.
Many will say that it is difficult to discern the candidates’ views on foreign policy because it is so infrequently discussed. Many more believe foreign affairs are too frequently discussed as it is. Both are symptoms of a growing myopia both within the party and the nation on the global threats to the world from Palestine to Pakistan to the People’s Liberation Army. Yet no candidate is willing to even attempt to shift the debate and the campaign to a badly needed discussion of the threats will we face and how we must defeat them.
Can you not see that it was a mistake to decline to run for President? Is it not obvious how badly needed your voice is on that stage?
I know at the time you were under the impression that it would be difficult to win the nomination. Surely recent events have shown that belief – understandable at the time – to be mistaken. The remarkable fluidity in national and state Republican polls have propelled Herman Cain – the only current candidate who was never elected to office – into the lead. Republican voters are desperate for an alternative to Mitt Romney, and have gone through nearly everyone in the current field to find that alternative.
Moreover, last night made clear just why an alternative is so necessary. Mr. Romney’s comments on foreign policy were of a frightening ignorance matched only by a cavalier dismissiveness. He actually implied that it would be better for the Chinese Communist Party to backfill our foreign aid, essentially inviting that dangerous element to enlarge its current geopolitical offensive (this is not to say that foreign aid is the best way to counter or prevent said offensive; far from it in fact, but you knew that already). He then listed Pakistan as a logistical ally, rather than a two-faced, duplicitous regime. Is it really a wonder the Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are seeking someone else?
Sadly, on the international crises that await us (and face us already) no one has the strength, intelligence, experience, or wherewithal to be that alternative to Romney (and Obama, for that matter).
Yet you have all of them.
Please, sir, if you are reading this (and I hope you do read it soon), reconsider. Take one more look at the field, and realize that it has a place for you.
You can run, you can win.
You must run; you must win.