President Obama’s approval rating on foreign policy sinks to an all-time low according to the Pew Research Center, as the latest results show most Americans disagree with the president’s position over a potential airstrike in Syria.
The underlying question is: Should the United States of America be the policeman of the world? Do we have the right to occupy foreign lands with military forces? The United States currently has troops in 130 countries with 900 military bases, according to former congressman Ron Paul, and we justify their presence in a multitude of ways.
Not only is it a question of right or wrong, but also one of money. We are broke. If the Federal Reserve couldn’t print money, we’d be defaulting on loans across the world. Thanks to wars we didn’t need to fight and money we didn’t have to spend, the government has so mismanaged our wealth that we are struggling for our very survival. We are 17 trillion dollars in debt, with no viable solution for solvency.
We can’t even secure our own borders, much less maintain our military might overseas. Our foreign occupation strategies were created after World War II, and they continue to increase. The problem is the world has changed, and we are no longer the fiscal powerhouse of the past. The delusional thinking is that we can continue our 20th century strategy without bankrupting the country. Critical thinking says it’s time to bring all the troops home, secure our borders like Fort Knox and reduce our foreign policy to negotiation, trade embargoes and other fiscal restrictions.
No country is foolish enough to attempt to invade the United States using traditional military tactics. And with our borders probably secured and heavily guarded, we could all sleep better at night. This strategy would cost a fraction of what we’re spending overseas, not to mention the goodwill it would create by allowing other countries to live their own way without U.S. interference.
Former President George W. Bush used to speak about God wanting every country to be free. Have you ever wondered where he got this idea? I know where. He made it up. God didn’t have anything to do with it. As much as I love America, I hate the image we’ve promoted around the globe that we have all the answers and are the standard bearers of the world. For all our claims of “American Exceptionalism,” we sure have a lot of problems.
I’ve traveled all over the world, and there’s no question that in many ways America is outstanding. That’s why I choose to live here. But to imply that we are smarter, more educated or morally superior to the rest of the world is ridiculous. Yes, we’ve done a lot of good things. We’ve also squandered our wealth, imposed our political values and moral code, and invaded countries for oil.
In the richest country in the world, 40 million of our citizens live in poverty. We are the world’s largest consumer of addictive narcotics, and we’ve stopped producing products other countries want to buy. Washington is bookended by left wing socialists determined to create a nanny state and right wing fundamentalists trying to legislate morality. We’ve gotten away with this nonsense for years because we were rich and powerful. No one argues with the biggest kid in the class. It’s not smart. But that was yesterday, and yesterday’s gone. The other kids in class have been working out, saving their money and getting smarter.
The American empire we created against the founder’s wishes is unsustainable. Unless we change radically in the next few years, our way of life is in jeopardy. We begin by pulling the troops out of every country we occupy. Next, we secure our borders and beef up our military at home. Then we stop imposing our beliefs, morals and values on other countries.
It’s time for us to grow up and realize we’re no smarter than anyone else. It’s time for America to stop telling the world what to do and start minding its own business. After all, if we’re so smart, why are we struggling with so many self-inflicted wounds? Let’s get our act together before telling others how to live.