Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Foreign Policy Views

Yesterday's WSJ had Fouad Ajami articulate the differences in the foreign policy world views of the two presidential candidates. He quotes political scientist Samuel Huntington, who defines three impulses in America's relationship with the world - national, imperial and cosmopolitan.

"In the first, America remains America. In the second, America remakes the world. In the third, the world remakes America."

America traditionally oscillated between the first two impulses, but these have now fallen prey to the latter viewpoint - at least in the elite universities and urban metropolises of America's coastal areas. The current Democratic/leftist view sees the world as the latter, a global community, one in which America should apologize for being wealthy, powerful and successful. As Ajami puts it:

"the Illinois senator and his devotees are disaffected with American power. In their view, we can make our way in the world without the encumbrance of "hard" power. We would offer other nations apologies for the way we carried ourselves in the aftermath of 9/11, and the foreign world would be glad for a reprieve from the time of American certitude."

This view is at odds with the more traditional post World war view of American exceptionalism which McCain adheres to, one in which the opinion of foreig

"he shares the widespread attitude of broad swaths of the country that are not consumed with worries about America's standing in foreign lands. Mr. McCain is not eager to be loved by foreigners. In November, the country will have a choice between a Republican candidate forged in the verities of the 1950s, and a Democratic rival who walks out of the 1990s."

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