Romney’s Foreign Policy Manicheanism

The Republican party just cannot step back from the same W. Bush ideology that led them to launch a decades long War on Terror. Most recently there is the presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney’s ridiculous gaffe, in the spirit of 1945, that Russia is our “number one geopolitical foe.” This could be relegated to the annuls of gaffe, but of course his adviser’s have the chutzpah to say that this Russophobia is a carefully thought out foreign policy. Luckily everyone basically takes Romney’s harping as a joke, except of course, Romney and the rest of the Republican Party doubling down on their take that you are either “with” or “against us.” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev praised the Obama Administration’s efforts on the U.S.-Russian “reset”, saying, “these have perhaps been the best three years in relations between our two countries over the last decade.”

Part of the problem may be that the Republican Party is unwilling to admit that the U.S. is not a global hegemon, and thus cannot impart its foreign policy objective with impunity. Compromise and selectivity are necessities in this day and age. A lot of the hullabaloo may also just be anti-Obama campaign riffraff, but foreign policy rhetoric from the Right comes from the ideology of American exceptionalism. Thus, anything close to a multipolar world scares them into feeling that American power is waning. More pieces in the pie means a smaller slice for America. And in a world with bipolarity, it must be the West that is leading the East. Romney’s campaign talk amounts to building up geopolitical bogeymen while he should be focusing on plans for international economic cooperation. All in all, Romney may pivot back during the general election, but his recent hawkishness surpasses many on the Right.

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