Romney & Pax Americana

Top Ten Memes from Today’s Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Foreign Policy Debate,”

  1. national interest=self-interest of everyday Americans
  2. superiority of the “American model of economic freedom”
  3. withdrawal from the Middle East  guarantees further war in the Middle East
  4. “weakness” and “indecision”  invite war
  5. (as opposed to “credibility” & “resolve”)
  6. “the calibrated uses of power”= “smart diplomacy”
  7. America as “guarantor of peace & stability”, “chief underwriter of the world order”
  8. “the human and economic possibilities” of a world that, until Mr. Obama came to office, was freer than it had ever previously been
  9. less respect & influence abroad
  10. economic decline at home

    decline, withdrawal, weakness, indecision
    respect, influence, credibility, resolve, power


“If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail”

The Romney-Ryan website’s foreign policy section, entitled “An American Century,”  is firmly rooted in the logic of classically Orwellian Cold War rhetoric:

Our country today faces a bewildering array of threats and opportunities. As president, Mitt Romney will safeguard America and secure our country’s interests and most cherished ideals. The unifying thread of his national security strategy is American strength. When America is strong, the world is safer. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation for an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies.

A Romney foreign policy will proceed with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies will not have doubts about where we stand and what we will do to safeguard our interests and theirs. Neither will our rivals, competitors, and adversaries. The best ally world peace has ever known is a strong America. The “last best hope of earth” was what Abraham Lincoln called our country. Mitt Romney believes in fulfilling the promise of Lincoln’s words and will defend America abroad in word and in deed.

The usual paradoxes apply: peace through strength, security through conflict, prosperity through power. It calls for a century-long vigilance (“resolve”) against weakness and apology; facing up to an unending cycle of threats from “rivals, competitors and adversaries,” necessitating a perpetual process of putting these rivals “on notice”.

The sketchiest assertions here are:

1) that America will dominate an entire century of world affairs and,

2) that “The best ally world peace has ever known is a strong America.”

“The best ally of world peace EVER KNOWN”