The Road to Foreign Policy

The Road to Foreign Policy

The Road to Foreign Policy

The Road to Foreign Policy

Excerpt

There is no denying that the problems we face today are alarmingly serious. For that very reason we need to focus public attention on them. There is altogether too much pontifical talk about world affairs as if they were on some plane above the heads of ordinary Americans. Much of this is based on the idea that we are called upon to deal with new and unprecedented problems. There is nothing to this. A reading of history brings us the reassurance that there is really nothing new under the sun--that men have repeatedly had to grapple with all the problems that trouble us today.

Athens and Sparta had the problem of democracy versus totalitarian militarism. Pericles had a New Deal with many of the modern fixings. Diocletian had his own version. Ancient Gaul was worried by Julius Caesar's fascist aggression. Charlemagne was, for his times, a big-scale totalitarian. And so on down the ages to Frederick the Great, Napoleon, Bismarck, and Hitler.

To deal with our problems we need to modernize our approach, but there is no need to bow our heads and admit the whole subject is beyond our ken.

There is no doubt that in the course of the last century the handling of our foreign affairs has got out of adjustment. It has come about more or less unnoticed, but the fact remains that we have drifted far from the intentions of the men who wrote the Constitution. We need to get back to the intent if not the letter of the Constitution in these matters, and it can be done.

Thus far in our history we have got along pretty well in spite of defects of policy and diplomacy, thanks largely to our favored geographical position, our wealth, and our resources. But this does . . .

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