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Antipoverty + Diplomacy + Secular Education = Progress

On June 30, the Center for American Progress (CAP) held “an independent learning course in Senator McCain’s policies.” Morning and afternoon panel discussions focused on the Economy, Health Care, Energy, and Foreign Affairs. Completing the four one-hour sessions guaranteed the audience (both press and non-press) an introduction to “McCain University.” I had the distinct pleasure of listening to experts on foreign affairs who spoke during the Foreign Policy section.

Gayle Smith’s comments deserve singular attention. More than once during the panel discussion, she emphasized the fact that “50 nations” and “100,000,000 people” suffer from poverty. Her point was to criticize McCain’s exclusive focus on terrorism as the “transcendent” American battle. McCain reveals no “strategy for combating” this epidemic. Instead, he is merely “hitting the replay button” – “outshoot[ing]” the world, not “outsmart[ing]” the world.


According to Smith, both Bush and McCain exemplify a “gap between theory and practice.” They are committed to “freedom” as an “ideal,” but lack any plan to foster “the institutions that promote” a tangible freedom. McCain, especially, is an “expert in the use of force,” but has “very little” to say about “diplomacy and development” in struggling countries. One example she cites is McCain’s lack of attention to combating “extremist ideology” with “secular education.” Smith’s statement, that “the world is far too complex to rely [solely] on military” solutions, best sums up CAP’s analysis of John McCain’s weakness in foreign affairs.


Progress for America, however, does not lie in diplomacy. Diplomacy, by definition, is the art of negotiation. Negotiation involves concessions. And, America should not concede anything to murdering extremists or those who would pacify them. Neither does progress stem from giving billions of more dollars to help the 50 impoverished nations. Frankly, the United States spends more money on the poor across the globe than any other nation. Yet, our image is spit upon by the rest of the world. It is time for America to operate with more internal compassion and less external compassion. Wiser men are the answer for true American progress:


“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men – that is genius”    – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.”   – Edmund Burke


“Think of your forefathers! Think of your posterity!”   – John Quincy Adams


“No terms of moderation takes place with the vulgar.”   – Francis Bacon


“There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight.”   – Woodrow Wilson


“There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 per cent. Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.”   – Theodore Roosevelt


“One omen is best, to fight in defense of one’s country.”  – Homer


“You must either conquer and rule or lose and serve, suffer or triumph, and be the anvil or the hammer.”   – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


“Laws are inoperative in war.”   – Cicero