The domestic consequences of weak foreign policy

This article is very well written and articulates concerns I’ve had for some time:

Because of the reckless abandonment of duty in Washington I’ve watched as many of us are now forced to reconsider limited government stances to offset this abandonment. This administration created ISIS by withdrawing troops and leaving no residual force in Iraq. They enabled it to grow with a hands-off approach as ISIS consumed Iraq bit by bit…

We failed to act earlier when risks were smaller and fewer lives were on the line. Now that ISIS has festered, risks are higher and more lives are at stake. I am not pro-war, I am pro-eliminating threats. I am pro-minimizing risk.

The reason we’re even having this conversation about domestic surveillance, Muslim databases, any of it, is because we failed to contain the infection over there and now it’s spread to here. If it’s a purposeful strategy to convince Americans to sign away their own liberties for the shaky assurances of a little safety, it’s a brilliant one. However, if it’s a purposeful strategy to protect the growth of a death cult by appealing to limited government sensibilities, using political correctness and inaccurate analogies, it’s also brilliant.

Either way, it’s an appeal to fear, both justified. Which one is it?

I suspect it’s a little of both, in the sense of “heads I win, tails you lose” and we lose a little more of our freedom every day.  Far too many of our would-be rulers know government power is best increased in a climate of fear.  So why not implement policies that sound appealing at the time, but that create economic uncertainty and hardship, social disruption among competing demographics, and security threats within and without?  While I don’t charge our entire political class with ascribing to this approach, I have no doubt there are a significant number of them that see the current climate as a feature, not a bug.

And so, many of us are conflicted.  I, too, believe strongly in minimalist government, and on the individual level, the need for compassion for the distressed and the dispossessed.  But the irresponsibility of the past two decades now leaves us with threats, such as radicalized Islamic congregations in Europe and the United States, that are beyond the ability of individuals to remedy.  Hence, the reluctance of many Christians — including me — to sanction continued importation of hundreds of thousands more from the Muslim world, and the flirtation of some, like Trump, with what Loesch accurately refers to as fascist tendencies.  (Note that I’m mentioning these in the same sentence, NOT lumping them together…)  In the case of Trump, it’s another instance of proposing more government to solve problems government created in the first place, kind of like the TSA after 9/11.   And we all know what a worthwhile tradeoff of freedom THAT’S been…

Even the Onion — that bastion of satire — knows enough to urge Americans to carefully consider the lessons of history.  As one writer put it, if the nationalists (those who favor stronger border controls and greatly reduced immigration — legal AND illegal) don’t win the day soon, the stage will be set in Europe and the US for the ultranationalists (think yellow stars or Japanese internment camps) as the security problems get even worse.  Unlike many today, I don’t see nationalism (based in an affinity for one’s own people and culture and desire to protect the same) as necessarily a bad thing, despite the ability to misuse it.

Ultranationalism, though — nobody should want to go there.

We cannot continue to allow our government to import more of a problem that it will later be only too happy to address if we hand over the Bill of Rights for “temporary safekeeping.”  We are already way too far down that road.  As the late Fred Thompson said in one of my favorite movies: “this business will get out of control, and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”

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