History's greatest democracy continued its love affair with hereditary monarchy Wednesday, as Jeb Bush captivated listeners with A Very Important Foreign Policy Speech full of original insights about being his own man and America needing leadership and believing that "weakness invites war … and strength encourages peace."

In a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that he would be an independent thinker, then delivered a lukewarm hash of hawkish conservative platitudes and named a foreign policy team stocked old with family favorites. Here's how the middle-mind reportage of USA Today interpreted Jeb's word paella, under the headline "Jeb Bush vows to be 'my own man' on foreign affairs":

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush sought Wednesday to draw a line beyond the inevitable comparisons to his father and brother on foreign policy, promising he would be "my own man" when it comes to addressing global crises.

Bush, who is proceeding to a presidential campaign of his own, delivered his first major foreign policy address in Chicago and took swipes at the "inconsistent and indecisive" leadership of President Obama and his administration.

And here's a Venn diagram prepared by the Washington Post's Philip Bump, showing which of his father's and brother's advisers Bush has decided to take on in his quest for free-world leadership:

Otherwise, the speech carried all the usual codes and whistles. He promised to enrich defense contractors:

He pined for a past time when people hated America but were scared shitless of it:

He inadvertently told a truth about the "liberation" of Iraq:

He burnished his foreign policy credentials as Florida's onetime governor:

And he overestimated the strength of the Islamic State by a factor of 10.

Congratulations, America. The next year and a half should be a lot of fun.

[Photo credit: AP Images]