GOP and Foreign Policy

Same topic, opposing views

By Tim Baldwin & Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

Many polls show Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) leading all other Republican potentials for U.S. President in 2016. Other GOP potential, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), sees this and is already attacking Rand Paul to prevent his nomination. Perry’s point of attack: Paul’s foreign policy. For GOP establishment, like Perry, if you are not pro-war, you are anti-American. America does not need another president like that.

You can bet if there is an opportunity to send our troops overseas, Perry will. In sharp contrast, Paul thinks America should not unnecessarily interfere with other nations. Perry mischaracterizes this as “isolationism,” but Paul’s foreign policy message resonates with a broad base of Americans. Indeed, Paul’s foreign policy is the biggest distinction between him and other GOP potentials. Rightly so. Americans, regardless of party, are tired of endless and needless wars and foreign intervention.

Do the people really want another governor from Texas – a repeat of G.W. Bush – to become president? Will that excite people to vote for the Republican candidate? I don’t think so. Americans will have a rare opportunity in 2016: to vote for a Republican presidential candidate who doesn’t march to the beat of a war drum. I hope Rand Paul wins.


By Joe Carbonari

Thinking about either Rand Paul or Rick Perry taking on Vladimir Putin in a negotiation gives me the shudders. Neither man inspires confidence. Neither wisdom nor temperament seem plusses for Perry. Rand Paul’s toughness has yet to be shown. Surely we have better.

Internationally, these have become dangerous times. Innocent people are being killed both by accident and design. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel and Ukraine, all are on the edge of being out of control – or over the edge already. Putin is acting the bully in Ukraine and looking to expand his areas of control. Assad in Syria is killing his own people and stirring an explosive Jihadist stew.

The U.S. must take a stronger leadership position. Our world is too small and interconnected for us to withdraw to a place of sure safety.  We are all vulnerable, both physically and economically. Our only protection from the bad actors of the world is joint, cooperative effort.

When norms of human decency are unacceptably breached it is the responsibility of the leaders of the world to bring the malefactors under control, or to remove them. This will occasionally call for looking the other guy, or gal, in the eye and making them believe that you mean what you say.

I wouldn’t send either Rand Paul or Rick Perry on the errand.

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