If I were president, here's what I would propose for foreign realignment. I'd have the U.S. State Department inform all other countries that we are freezing domestic and foreign spending for at least the next five years. And at the end of those five years, we'd reassess U.S. support not only on the basis of the health of the U.S. economy but also, more importantly, on the basis of how other countries support U.S. interests and trade over the same time period. One might call that blackmail, but I call it business.
The truth is that in the second five-year period, I would work voraciously to wean other countries off "U.S. milk." They don't need our finances to feel our support. There are many other ways. And in so doing, we'll grow up to be a healthier global community. (I just learned that Rand Paul, the new senator from Kentucky, proposed ending all foreign aid last week.)
And for those who would say that we have to give to get American interests and security, I would reply: Maybe the proof that other countries can't be friends to America without our money is proof that they are no friends at all. No surprise that nearly 60 percent of Americans in a new Gallup Poll said they would be in favor of cutting foreign aid -- the highest percentage in the entire poll.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama even confessed to the deep need for change in our relations with the world: "Our success in this new and changing world will require reform, responsibility and innovation. It will also require us to approach that world with a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs."
So let me propose that the "new level" is no new level at all, but an old level -- a foreign policy articulated well by our Founding Fathers 200 years ago and other patriots today. I agree with Ron Paul, the father of Rand Paul and an exceptional representative and example of a constitutional statesman. In his book "The Revolution," Ron writes, "It is time for us to consider a strategic reassessment of our policy of foreign interventionism, occupation, and nation building."
Our Founders would not endorse the global presence we have today, especially with the costs of doing so in light of our colossal deficit and debt. As George Washington said, "the great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. ... 'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world."
Could it get more any wiser and simpler than that?
In the end, the fact is that the U.S. economy could collapse, and the rest of the countries of the world would survive and probably even thrive. I pray that it doesn't take that form of U.S. economic earthquake to prove that very case.
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