Much of Europe is rooting for a Democrat, meaning most likely Evita, to replace George Bush in the White House. Be careful what you wish for. Neither Hillary Clinton nor either of the other major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination Barack Obama and John Edwards would be good for Europe, much less for America.
Once upon a time advocating and supporting free trade and the liberal world order were policies to which Democrats and Republicans both adhered. However, as former Washington Times editor Tony Blankley observes in “Hillary, Huckabee and Trade; It’s Time for a Free-Trade Debate” in recent decades a majority of the Democratic Party has embraced protectionism.
While Bill Clinton (with Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich!) supported NAFTA and systematically reducing world trade barriers, a majority of his party did not. Today all the principal Democrat presidential contenders have adopted anti-free trade positions, whether from conviction or political expediency.
In sharp contrast, while not all Republicans are free traders, virtually all politically viable committed free traders in America are Republican. Of the leading Republican presidential contenders only glib and surging former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is not a vigorous free-trade advocate.
America’s domestic policies affect Europe as well. Ronald Reagan’s America ushering in less regulation, lower taxes, and reduced government growth, created wealth and tens of millions of jobs, was an engine for global economic growth, and along with the Iron Lady set an example for continental Europe.
America’s Nanny State is proportionately smaller than those in most Western European countries. Nonetheless it is enormous and growing. A second President Clinton with a Democrat Congress would increase the size and scope of government, boost taxes, and diminish free trade commitments, weakening the world’s largest economy, and consequently Europe’s prosperity.
Notwithstanding wishful thinking in Brussels assuming a new era for mankind is
at hand in which force has no place, good and evil don’t exist, and good faith negotiations can resolve all problems, human nature is eternal and the world remains a dangerous place. Force is sometimes a moral and very, indeed the most, efficacious means of resolving problems.
Great Britain by and large enforced a liberal world order in the 19th century, kept the sea lanes open, reduced the global slave traffic, and planted lasting seeds of the rule of law, property rights, and consensual democratic systems of government, to the lasting benefit of much of the planet. Britain’s policy was self interested and on balance principled. Much as many Europeans are uncomfortable with the thought, the Free World needs an active sentinel and as Niall Ferguson compellingly argues in his provoc
atively titled Colossus: the Price of America’s Empire in the 21st century only America can play the role. Europe’s signal danger is a more isolationist America brought about by Democrats abjuring global leadership, supported at least in some measure by an isolationist, nationalist Republican rump, and/or an America hobbled by pledging fealty to an utterly ineffectual and corrupt United Nations.
While Hillary Clinton has judiciously avoided some of her kindred Democrats belligerently pacifist rhetoric, a second Clinton presidency would weaken America’s military, be a less stalwart ally, and have a decidedly less muscular foreign policy. With cause Russia’s capo Vlad Putin, Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hossayni Khamenei, Osama bin Laden, Bashar Assad, and Hu Jintao, would rejoice.
However, an economically and militarily weaker and less confident America disengaged from the world is decidedly not in Europe’s interest.Author : Eric Grover