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United States Foreign Policy (Pt. 1)

Citizens’ Liberty is the Fundamental Purpose of Foreign Policy


by Ezra Taft Benson, Friday, June 21, 1968, Preston Idaho

“Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.

. . . Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its Virtue?”

President George Washington,
Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

In the “Virginia Bill of Rights,” drafted by George Mason and adopted by the Virginia Convention on June 12, 1776, there appears this statement in Article 15:
No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. (Documents of American History, [Henry S. Commager, Editor], 1: 104)

“The paramount need today,” recently wrote David Lawrence, “is for the United States to clear the air by emphasizing fundamental principles. Until there are acts that implement those principles–not just words–diplomacy will accomplish nothing and the world will remain continually on the brink of war.” (U.S. News and World Report, January 27, 1964)

It has been truly said that:
We cannot clean up the mess in Washington, balance the budget, reduce taxes, check creeping Socialism, tell what is muscle or fat in our sprawling rearmament programs, purge subversives from our State Department, unless we come to grips with our foreign policy, upon which all other policies depend. (Senator Robert A. Taft, quoted by Phyllis Schlafly, A Choice Not An Echo, p. 26)

Ever since World War I, when we sent American boys to Europe supposedly to “make the world safe for democracy,” our leaders in Washington have been acting as though the American people elected them to office for the primary purpose of leading the entire planet toward international peace, prosperity and one-world government. At times, these men appear to be more concerned with something called world opinion or with their image as world leaders than they are with securing the best possible advantage for us, that they are not “nationalistic” in their views, that they are willing to sacrifice narrow American interests for the greater good of the world community. Patriotism and America-first have become vulgar concepts within the chambers of our State Department. It is no wonder that the strength and prestige of the United States has slipped so low everywhere in the world.

In this connection, it is well to remember that on June 25, 1787, during the formulation of the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention, Charles Pinckney, of South Carolina, made the famous speech in which he asserted:

We mistake the object of our Government, if we hope or wish that it is to make us respectable abroad. Conquest or superiority among other powers is not or ought not ever to be the object of republican systems. If they are sufficiently active & energetic to rescue us from contempt & preserve our domestic happiness & security, it is all we can expect from them, – it is more than almost any other Government ensures to its citizens. (The Records of the Federal Convention [Max Farrand, Editor], 1: 402)

In his book, A Foreign Policy for Americans, the late Senator Robert A. Taft correctly reasoned that:

No one can think intelligently on the many complicated problems of American foreign policy unless he decides first what he considers the real purpose and object of that policy. . . There has been no consistent purpose in our foreign policy for a good many years past. . . Fundamentally, I believe the ultimate purpose of our foreign policy must be to protect the liberty of the people of the United States. (p. 11)

There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the President shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He’s our executive; he’s on our payroll, in necessary; he’s supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the President of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to “uplift” their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their peoples or even to defend them against their enemies. This point was made clear by the wise father of our country, George Washington:
I have always given it as my decided opinion that no nation has a right to intermeddle in the internal concerns of another; that every one had a right to form and adopt whatever government they liked best to live under them selves; and that if this country could, consistent with its engagements, maintain a strict neutrality and thereby preserve peace, it was bound to do so by motives of policy, interest, and every other consideration. — George Washington (1732-1799) Letter to James Monroe (25 Aug. 1796)

[Ezra Taft Benson (August 4, 1899–May 30, 1994) was United States Secretary of Agriculture for both of the administrations of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.(1953-1961) and later became the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985 until his death.]

Click here to read Pt. 2 >



5 Responses

  1. […] the only presidential candidates that understand the real causes of terror and proposed the only foriegn policies that address the real causes of […]

  2. Where can I get a copy of the writings of Ezra Taft Benson that you are quoting from?

    I’ve done an internet search for his unpublished political speeches and writings with no luck.

  3. This TSA Revolt Brakes Left Right Party Lines
    The Planned intimidation and humiliation with the Enhanced “Enhanced” ‘Pat’-Down ‘Strip’-Search, for those travelers choosing the Opt-Out Screening Option, was to get everyone to use the Pornographic Electronic Bio-Scan Strip Search.
    As Strangers touch our children’s genitalia the party lines drop away and for the first time in generation we collectively understand what real politics are about.
    This failure has got the Feds at the Department of Homeland Security Hopping Mad.

    (full) http://wp.me/pPkXP-fz

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