Friday, August 18, 2006

Annoying the International Community

The following is an interesting look at the international community and the reasons America's Foreign Policy is resented:

From Moderate Why They Hate Us.

First, I would add this reason to the list of reasons for American Antipathy (which I left as a comment on their post): As long as the majority of eligible voters refuse to vote, we will probably never see an end to the global antipathy towards America. (Even the record 64% turnout in 2004 isn't inspiring and is hardly the norm...) When a large percentage of the population decides not to partake in democracy, not only does their collective voice go unheard, but to outsiders it seems as if we would rather allow our country to be run for us rather than by us.

If we don't care about America, why should anyone else? Hypocrisy is never looked on in favor. Additionally, continued voter apathy also allows extremists on the right and left to do as they please (further explained), which only maddens the world at large more.

The other source of antipathy, as I see it is this: wildly vacillating foreign policy. Many countries are still used to one sovereign ruler (dictator, etc.) ruling for many years, especially those in the Middle East. I am not saying that I dislike changing presidents every 4 or 8 years, but this does cause a problem when going between liberal and conservative parties (or even between two presidents of the same party). As I have pointed out, each has made themselves increasingly extremist and so our foreign policy gets whipped between two extremes. With the abolishment of partisan politics and the two-party system, any and all foreign policy would, by necessity, be a more tempered moderate view with smaller changes between presidents. I imagine that a more long-term foreign policy would have other benefits, too.

Ultimately, the United States of America must be a model for democracy from its citizenry to its leaders, showing a true belief in the power of common rule. As said by Edward R. Murrow, "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."

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