For decades now, the right has more or less called the national security shots. They even attacked the strong anticommunist policies of presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Nothing satisfied them, and they never altered their views. Democrats bent to their constant pounding and success with the public and press. When John F. Kennedy ran against Adlai Stevenson for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960, he did so as a hawk. His main pitch was that Stevenson was too left and too weak to manage the Cold War. Jimmy Carter didn’t play the pretend-hawk game, but as his administration went on, and with Iran and Afghanistan, he turned rightward. Most Democratic presidents have steered away from looking liberal and from choosing liberals to people top posts in their foreign policy establishment…

Two factors are at work here. First, most Americans just don’t feel safe with liberals and even moderates running the national security show. To most Americans, liberals seem too trusting and too weak. Second, most Democrats with power don’t trust their liberals either. They know liberals will give them a “bad” name with the foreign policy establishment, legislators, and the media.

There’s plenty to quarrel with liberals and centrists about. I find myself mostly in the realist camp, looking hard at achievable goals and usable power. But the liberals and lefties are leading the charge on reviewing fundamentals. They’re doing something good, something important. Give them a hearing.