Of course the most important priorities of the next GOP Congress are the economy and jobs. But following close behind is fixing a foreign policy that under Obama has been backwards in most respects. That the party that bills itself as “progressive” has been so backward in foreign policy, however, shouldn’t surprise us.
That backward quality has been harmful not just to our safety and security, but to our economy as well.
Not since John F. Kennedy was president have the Democrats had a robust, freedom-oriented, chief executive who understood that freedom for Americans doesn’t start at Ellis Island.
It starts in places like eastern Ukraine and in Iraq and in Poland and in South Korea.
And this is truer today as the world gets smaller.
And the world is getting smaller.
If the America First movement was a non-starter in the early twentieth century-- the first age of the “wireless”—then isolationism is even less practical as wireless goes from transistors to digital.
In an age of jihad, when teenagers in Houston can sport ISIS tattoos weeks after first hearing of the barbaric Islamic army, and girls from Minneapolis can move from the cheer squad to the ISIS front lines in a week, it would be helpful to have a chief executive who unapologetically stands up for all that is good in the USA.
And we as a nation are mostly good… and we are great too.
But getting past the moral effect of a robust American foreign policy, there are also the very real dividends that accrue to us when peace and security rest under the shield of American hegemony.
What has been a better steward of the peace than the desires of the common man world wide that America has guarded?
What has been a better guarantor of the peace than good roads and good schools and unpolluted water that America has spread all over the world?
The fact is that the United States sends about $278 billion dollars overseas either via private donations, direct investment or government assistance to developing countries every year. The amount of assistance we send worldwide would rank above the 35th largest economy in the world, larger than Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong.
And about 90 percent of it comes from private sources.
This is how our economy and foreign policy go hand in hand.
Commerce, in other words follows the flag.
Under Obama however we have allowed neglect of both foreign policy and economic policy (at home) to become a new imperative-- as if U.S. poverty both in our world morals and our domestic economy can somehow make up for the deficiencies of the ruling class in Iraq or Russia or North Korea and Iran-- or those at home.
While it’s true that our own ruling class is just as callous and depraved as those of any other country, its is the private money provided by the USA that makes a significant difference in the lives of those who we’d wish to be our friends.
That private money largely depends upon the strength of not just our economy but of our military might and our friendships around the world.
For six years under Obama we’ve been friends or all the wrong people in all the wrong countries.
And it’s limited our ability sway our friends in the most constructive way possible: through private investment.
Since it’s next to impossible to get Obama to understand an investment policy—or a foreign policy-- without a crony attached to it, I’m hoping we’ll have a little more luck with Republicans.
Just a little.
It’s not too much to ask, is it?