Bipartisanship is dead. Nowhere in recent history has the U.S. had such a divided Congress.
The ever-widening gaps between the two parties over the Democrats’ spending spree and irresponsible policies have rendered any cooperation futile. We don’t need another “yes-we-can” president that promises change only to change his mind once in office, but someone who is more about restoring America.
On the outset, Rand Paul seems an unlikely contender for the presidency. He is a moderate conservative with libertarian beliefs that sometimes go against the current.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (Image source: Getty Images/Alex Wong)
But isn’t this what the GOP needs?
When asked to predict the outcome of future presidential elections, the 51-year-old senator from Kentucky stated, “I think Republicans will not win again in my lifetime…unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party. And it has to be a transformation.”
For me, Paul’s biggest asset is his commonsensical ideas on foreign policy. Put simply, he argues for fiscal responsibility in foreign affairs, emphasizing the need for a policy of containment rather than waging costly wars abroad.
“Dialogue is nearly always preferably to war,” Paul noted in a controversial foreign policy speech.
In this photo illustration German newspapers with front page photos referring to the NSA eavesdropping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone scandal lie arranged on October 25, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Many Europeans see their relationship with the US on a steep decline since President Obama took office. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
He is against further involvement in the Middle East and opposes passing sanctions on Iran. If push came to shove, Paul wouldn’t hesitate to take up arms, but only under Congressional authorization. War shouldn’t be negotiated by the United Nations or dictated by Executive Orders, Paul argues, for this is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.
But who among us has voted for a candidate based solely on his foreign policy views?
According to polls at least, very few. Indeed, we generally care much more about employment or about the massive influx of illegal immigrants crossing our border daily. Except for times of crisis or war, the natural attitude of Americans is isolationist.
In Europe, the U.S. is increasingly seen as disinterested by the state of global affairs.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the East Room of the White House May 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images
Much to their consternation, European leaders cannot cope with the fact that they are no longer America’s favorite sidekick. Marking a dramatic change of tone from the previous administration, Obama has engaged in few decisive foreign policy moves.
His reset with Russia and his pivot to Asia have proven to be more hot air than anything else. Which raises the question of what will happen in 2017, when his term ends. Our national interest can no longer be the prosperity of others, gained at the cost of too many American lives lost in far-flung places.
This is why we should pay attention to what would-be Presidents talk about in their foreign policy speeches. Because, once in office, their dreams of exporting American greatness abroad end up bankrupting the country internally.
[sharequote align="center"]Dreams of exporting American greatness abroad end up bankrupting the country internally.[/sharequote]
In a nutshell, that is exactly what Paul is saying when he proclaims that nation building should be done only at home. With two wars being waged across the Middle East, financed through debt, we should take a step back and focus purely on conflicts that threaten us directly.
Unfortunately, some were quick to dismiss his ideas, accusing the junior senator of riding more on his father’s popularity and infrastructure than on his political prowess.
It is high time that the world stops looking to the U.S. for solutions to their own problems. As foreign policy becomes more and more complex, it is only fair that Europeans start assuming more responsibility at home and overseas. Maybe what Europeans actually need is a unilateralist and isolationist American President like Paul to learn how to walk on their own two feet.
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