The soundness of a reputation is a funny thing.
If you have to talk about, explain and defend it, chances are it’s already imperiled if not greatly damaged.
The mantra now emanating from within the ruling class, and many talking heads in the media, is that the situation surrounding “red lines” and Syria is not singularly about the credibility of Barack Obama. But rather about the all encompassing credibility of the United States.
According to these wizards of brilliance, the situation has morphed and become a matter concerning our general reputation.
The conventional wisdom regarding our reputation now centers upon the prestige of the United States. The argument the Beltway elites submit to the people is essentially:
“The president set out a red line and now, like it or not, nothing would be worse than not following through.”
They argue that if we failed to proceed in attacking Syria, the nation would unalterably suffer due to a lack of credibility. In other words, the world would cease to take us seriously.
This argument would hold great sway if not for one simple thing: the fact that our reputation and credibility is already trashed. And the demolition of it has been done by the very people who now speak of reputation and prestige. That said, let there be no doubt that both parties share blame.
But back to the topic of credibility.
The root of credibility comes from the Latin “credere” which means “to believe” or “to trust”.
So when the highly credentialed among us, beseech the people to trust them, perhaps we should engage in the exercise of seeing where it is they have led us and take stock of our general credibility.
A nation that loses two wars due to the refusal of policy makers to aggressively prosecute it, and thus defend its interests, has a credibility problem.
A government that fails incredibly to send reinforcements to an ongoing firefight in Benghazi, has lost not only the trust within the military, but its credibility with the people, and its standing in the broader world.
A government that spies on its people and reporters has lost credibility with, and the trust of, its people.
A nation that refuses to take itself serious and secure its boundaries deserves little credence.
A government that traffics arms to notorious drug cartels, in violation of its own law, is deficient in credibility.
A government that ignores a terrorist attack, and instead declares it workplace violence, has squandered credibility.
A government that uses the power of the IRS to discriminate against its political opponents (impairing their rights’ to function politically, detrimentally impeded, if not wholly deprived and abrogated in certain cases, the right to free speech, expression and dissent, to petition for the redress of grievances, to legally assemble and associate, to organize, effect and participate in the election process, thus the right to participate in self government, the right of equal protection under law and due process of law) has lost the moral right to place any claim upon credibility.
A government that attacks and undermines the entire Bill of Rights, as well as other constitutional constraints, has a deficit of credibility. In short, a government that routinely ignores the rule of law has lost credibility.
A government that sends high officials before congress and suborns perjury with impunity, is deficient in credibility.
A government that directs its agents to concoct evidence and knowingly lie to federal judges in criminal trials, thus denying the right of a defendant to a fair trial, loses credibility.
A congress with an approval rating in the mid teens is incredible.
A government that passes and upholds laws no one has read, strains credulity.
A government that foists an 88,000 page tax code has little credibility. The same government which oversees a bureaucracy that drafts volumes of regulations, outside the purview of people which are never voted on and never read, damages credibility.
A president who walks onto the world stage, shuns responsibility for his acts and essentially blames everyone else for a situation of his own making, is incredulous. Barack Obama’s denial of simple and plain truth, has tarnished his reputation and destroyed his credibility – despite his assertions to the contrary.
So yeah, let’s talk about our credibility. But in doing so, understand this: the reputation and prestige of this nation has, to a very real extent, already been ruined. And it’s been done by you and your ilk – the ruling class inside D.C.
The only way to restore a reputation and close the credibility gap is to come clean and admit culpability.
We the people are waiting.