Our President and Secretary of State and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are all jumping on record today praising President Hamid Karzai’s decision to support a run-off election in Afghanistan next month. The current round of back slapping is in support of Washington’s goal of bringing governmental reform to Afghanistan, but the campaign to reform the governments of everyone else in the world is a key pillar of the Administration’s “smart power” approach to reduce conflict around the globe.
Senator Kerry commented, “The future of Afghanistan will ultimately be determined by Afghans civilians and through good governance — not soldiers or the international community,”
Mrs. Clinton echoed Mr. Kerry’s comments, saying “We remain committed to partnering with the Afghan people and their government on our shared objectives of strengthening good governance, tackling corruption, increasing economic opportunities and improving security for all Afghans”, and Mr. Obama added, “It is now vital that all elements of Afghan society continue to come together to advance democracy, peace and justice.”
So where’s the hypocrisy, you ask? The answer lies in the data collected by pollster Scott Rasmussen.
For nearly two years, economic issues have held the top spot in terms of importance among [American] voters.
But the latest national telephone survey shows that 83% now view government ethics and corruption [in the United States] as very important, placing it just ahead of the economy on a list of 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. Eighty-two percent (82%) of voters see the economy as very important.
Even more troubling, a plurality of Americans now do not trust either major party to seriously address the issue. According to Mr. Rasmussen’s latest polling, on the problem of ethics and corruption in government 29% of Americans trust the Democrats and 33% trust the Republicans. This means 38% of Americans don’t trust either party to bring “good governance” to America.
So, with Americans believing their own political class is incapable of being fair and ethical in the execution of thier offices, from what moral high ground do Mr. Obama, Mr. Kerry and Mrs. Clinton make their pronouncements?