Then along comes someone to prove to us there is some sanity in the universe.
In of all places, someone made sense in the Boston Globe, an establishment organ if there ever was one.
It was without a sense of urgency that we got to this as it was published on December 13th of last year. Mr. Kinzer's What a truly conservative foreign policy looks like is not long, about 700 words, but that hardly matters. It is as direct and to the point as anything the Globe has printed on the subject, which isn't much.
He then tells us why it is essentially liberal, is based on deep convictions. Those who shape it believe the United States is the indispensable nation that must lead the world; this leadership requires toughness; and toughness is best shown by threatening or using force. Beneath these beliefs lies the assumption that the United States knows more and sees further than other countries.
Many liberals embrace this dogma. That makes sense. It emerges from the liberal tradition, which imagines that humanity is steadily progressing toward a perfect world in which no one will go hungry, warlords will disappear, diseases will be cured, and people will cooperate for the common good.As the few readers of this blog must know, we see such an attitude at best as misguided and at worst, delusional and dangerous.
Mr. Kinzer than gives us the conservative FP.
Conservatism, by contrast, is a live-and-let-live ideology. By nature it is prudent, careful, and restrained. Conservatives do not believe that any country can solve the world’s problems or is called to do so. They want to leave other nations alone, not remake them. That makes restraint in foreign affairs an essentially conservative doctrine.
It is well stated. He then asks the question,
Why, then, do so many self-proclaimed conservatives vote for lavish defense budgets, favor maintaining hundreds of military bases around the world, and support foreign wars?Our good man knows the answer,
It is because they have left true conservatism behind. The vision of an exceptional America, dominating the world and shaping the fate of nations near and far, has seduced them away from conservative values.Though this is valid as far as it goes, there is a problem with it. He mentions Taft and Hoover and Ron Paul as real conservatives and he is right. Most, however on the American right have never been really conservative, at least as far as foreign policy is concerned, even though they claim the label. They never held conservative values to be seduced from. This is not just sad, it's tragic.
It is a excellent work by the visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He finishes it strongly,
Mainstream conservatism has joined the foreign policy consensus. By helping to push the United States into ambitious nation-building projects, its leaders have abandoned their movement’s founding principles. A true conservative looks dubiously on foreign intervention. Who does not, is none.As they say, the thing speaks for itself.
Kinzer never labels himself, for all we know, he may not be a conservative and might be appalled that The Neutralist is favoring his article. No matter.
So, our apologies Mr.Kinzer, but we officially make you a fellow of theNeutralist institute.
We might ask Globe token "conservative" Jeff Jacoby should read What a truly conservative foreign policy looks like.