Should the American people be included in momentous decisions like the one recently made by President Bush concerning the country's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) to begin construction of a missile defense system? One might assume that since we are a so-called Democratic society and the decision was not an emergency, the best way would have been to allow everyone to participate in making the decision. It can be extremely controversial when determining whether or not the American public is capable of making a decision of such national importance. With regard to the President's decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, I believe he did the right thing. There are two main reasons why I believe President Bush was well within his realm of responsibility when he made this decision without consulting the general public; lack of public interest in current political events and concerns about the President's lack of knowledge in military matters.
First of all, lack of public interest in world events affects my ability to trust the public in decision-making, especially when the ramifications of such decisions could adversely affect our country. My family often discusses politics and current events around the dinner table. Not once has the subject of our country's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty arisen. As a result, I can safely assume that my family has no specific interest in that particular event. Maybe they are not even aware of the issue. Maybe many other American families are also not aware or concerned about the Treaty or missile defense. To put this decision to a public poll probably would not be met with success. Most likely, voter turn-out would be low, resulting in an unreliable and inaccurate assessment upon which to base a decision with unbelievable impact. .
The President's lack of knowledge in military matters is not a valid reason to disqualify him from making military decisions.