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Thursday, September 04, 2008
Re: Are you experienced? Are you "foreign policy" experienced?
Amid the talk about foreign policy experience surrounding the US Presidential election, Fred Foldvary gets at a very important truth: no amount of experience could possibly prepare anyone to succeed in the role of the modern presidency, its an impossible task. What experience prepares one, as Ron Paul says, "to run your life, run the economy, and run the world"? The United States has drifted from the ideal of a limited constitutional republic managed by citizen-statesmen to a permanent bureaucracy state which only the professional politicians can navigate.
"Does anyone have the experience needed to be a benevolent emperor of the world? The answer is no, because it is too big a task in which to do well. The presidency of the USA has likewise become too big a job...
The problem is that the US federal government has gotten too big for any president to manage well. In foreign affairs, the USA has become not only a superpower but also a super global manager, seeking to supervise countries from Georgia to Poland to Taiwan. If the USA military had a purely defensive role, and if the US did not seek to be the boss of the world, then the Commander in Chief would not need nearly so much experience.
Today’s global interventions require a military experience that only generals such as Eisenhower possessed. But even Eisenhower’s great military experience did not prevent him from a blunder such as the overthrow of the elected government of Iran, which eventually made Iran the hostile regime it now is...
What any government chief needs is not so much experience but wisdom in ethics, economics, and governance. In ethics, a government chief would understand natural moral law and honor self-ownership by individuals. In economics, the chief would understand that public revenue should come from the land rent, not from punitive taxes on labor and capital. In governance, the chief would understand and implement the concept of subsidiarity, of decentralizing governance to local agencies or leaving industries such as agriculture to the free market."
Posted by Kalim Kassam on September 4, 2008 | Permalink
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I like the thinking in this article Kalim. Especially your point about wisdom in ethics. I think for foreign policy experience we need someone who has wisdom in bluffing and calling bluffs which means they would have to know the geo-political landscape. That's at least Biden maybe McCain. I think we would also want them understand the mysterious back-channels of realpolitik in which things get done. For all his crass hamfisted foreign policy, I think we did see some of that when Hezbollah attacked Israel and someone caught W talking to Tony Blair saying "What needs to happen is somebody needs to talk to Syria and get them to tell Hezbollah to stop this shit." Hezbollah gets its orders from Syria. Syria is the real power. Talk to Syria. that's the kind of back-channel knowledge we need. But I honestly don't know if being a senator or a governor can ever prepare anyone for that. Maybe if Americans start electing the head of the CIA (no wait, that got us George Bush I). Never mind.
Posted by: Jay Lafayette | 2008-09-04 1:12:58 PM
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