There is no debate we’re a country in transition. The only debate is what we’re actually transitioning to, and whether we’ll be better or worse as a people for it.
Such transitions challenge trusted traditions to prove they’re still relevant. Old alliances are tested. And folks tend to gravitate to new ideas quickly before they’re fully vetted, mainly because they’ve lost faith in the old ideas.
In the political arena, nowhere will this attempted paradigm shift be more apparent than the foreign policy debate that could very well define the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Recently, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Texas Governor Rick Perry gave us a preview.
In a guest op-ed for The Washington Post, Governor Perry criticized Sen. Paul by name when he said, “It’s disheartening to hear fellow Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul, suggest that our nation should ignore what’s happening in Iraq.”
Perry was just getting started. Also in the sharply-worded op-ed, he referred to Paul as “curiously blind” to threats from radical Islamists in the Middle East. Perry then rebuked Paul’s claims that his foreign policy aligns with Reagan’s: “His analysis is wrong. Paul conveniently omitted Reagan’s long internationalist record of leading the world with moral and strategic clarity.”
Perry may have a point there.
As I wrote for The Washington Times earlier this year, Paul’s father – former Texas Congressman Ron Paul – was often very critical of Reagan’s foreign policy exploits at the time. Ron Paul criticized Reagan for “ignoring world court rulings” against him, said Reagan was “determined to pick a fight” with Khadafi in Libya, urged Reagan to lift the Cuban embargo, and said “the invasion of Grenada is hardly the victory the American people were led to believe.”
His many foreign policy disagreements with Reagan helped prompt Ron Paul to leave the Republican Party for a time, and he became the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president back in 1988. While his son, Rand, may be known for urging non-interventionism in foreign affairs, when it comes to domestic politics, he chose to fire right back at Perry.
In a column for Politico with the not-so-subtle title “Rick Perry is Dead Wrong,” Rand says “with 60,000 foreign children streaming across the Texas border, I am surprised (Perry) has apparently found time to mischaracterize and attack my foreign policy.”
But that’s not all. Not by a long shot. Paul also wrote:
In fact, some of Perry’s solutions for the current chaos in Iraq aren’t much different from what I’ve proposed, something he fails to mention. His solutions also aren’t much different from President Barack Obama’s, something he also fails to mention. Because interestingly enough, there isn’t that many good choices right now in dealing with this situation in Iraq. So what are Perry’s solutions and why does he think they are so bold and different from anyone else’s? He writes in the Washington Post, “the president can and must do more with our military and intelligence communities to help cripple the Islamic State. Meaningful assistance can include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sharing and airstrikes.”
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom