The article — “R.I.P. Republican Internationalism” by Council on Foreign Relations President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb and Michael Kramer — frets that “a common thread emerges: a Tea Party-wide reluctance to engage with the world, except for those they view as true U.S. friends, such as Israel.”
The authors of the article — reposted on the website of the center of America's political establishment, the Council on Foreign Relations — say that Americans can “count on three consequences then. First, a stronger, even more vociferous Tea Party. Second, a growing isolationist, anti-world impulse among its adherents. Third, much rougher opposition for any President wanting to conduct necessary business abroad.”
By “necessary business,” Gelb and Kramer mean ground wars and air strikes in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. And woe to those who oppose such foreign interventionism, since they risk being branded “isolationist” and “anti-world” — as the authors do in their article. Of course, the epithets are not accurate, since it is neither “isolationist” nor “anti-world” to want to stay clear of foreign quarrels.
Gelb (a retired New York Times correspondent) and Kramer fear that the Tea Party — which has continued to show strength and resiliency after the media trumpeted its death this past fall — “will threaten what remains of the Republican Party’s great tradition of internationalism and further strain the ability of any U.S. President to conduct diplomacy, to negotiate, and to compromise. To Tea Party members, these three staples of a successful foreign policy are akin to unilateral disarmament.”
Gelb and Kramer describe the Tea Party as a movement led by persons dedicated to “opposition to free trade, immigration reform, and attempts to resolve disputes involving Iran, Syria, and China with diplomacy.” Of course, it's not diplomacy that non-interventionist Tea Party members oppose, but unnecessary war and the “entangling alliances” that George Washington warned about in his Farewell Address.
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of Rand Paul at Tea Party rally in Shepherdsville, Ky., July 1, 2010: AP Images