Given recent events in the Middle East, some general observations regarding the foreign policy of the American Right and Left seem warranted.
The foreign policy of the large majority of those on the American Right is statist and putrid at its core. It is based on American dominance through the use and the threat of the use of violence, and has little foundation in respect for the civil and economic liberties of other peoples and nations. Respect for the principle of self-determination is close to absent.
The foreign policy of the mainstream Right not only (justifiably) seeks to defend America from the violent aggression of foreigners, but is fundamentally driven by the amorphous concept of defending “American interests” abroad. For over a century, the overriding goals of American foreign policy have been to open foreign markets to our exports and to secure foreign sources of raw materials on terms favorable to us. Also important in more recent years has been the goal of maintaining the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. To achieve these goals, America has interfered in the internal affairs of other nations and used military violence. When you treat other peoples and nations in this manner, is it surprising that they resent it? Should it be surprising that many in the world do not have a favorable opinion of U.S. foreign policy?
Unfortunately, although the rhetoric may be slightly less confrontational in tone, the foreign policy of the large majority of those on the Left is not fundamentally different from the Right’s. In fact, important aspects of modern U.S. foreign policy were established by icons of the Left, i.e., Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, and Truman. For many, many years, U.S. foreign policy has been molded and implemented by a consensus of the Right and the Left.
In addition, as many Libertarians and Classical Liberals over the years have noted, there is a nexus between foreign policy and domestic policy; the two compliment and reinforce each other. Putting principle aside for a moment for the sake of argument, it may be illustrative from a practical standpoint to examine the fate of Great Britain in the 20th century. Arguably, three intertwined factors most contributed to its significant decline: unnecessary wars; increased socialization of its economy; and, inflation. Does this pattern sound familiar?