The Republican Party is heir to a failed foreign policy that it has never fully confronted. The man who forced a partial confrontation has just secured the party’s nomination. But the reaction of the party elite appears to be that the best approach is to return, as soon as possible, to the old doctrines and nostrums and that it best to focus, not on the current election, but on establishing the parameters for 2020.
How else to interpret Ohio Governor John Kasich’s speech on Tuesday afternoon implicitly decrying Donald Trump to the International Republican Institute? […]
Kasich has already made his hawkish bona fides abundantly clear in the past. He proceeds from a values-based, moralistic conception of foreign policy, one in which American might can almost always set wrong aright. In November 2015 he said that he would establish a government agency to disseminate “Judeo-Christian” values around the world in order to combat radical Islam. About Russian president Vladimir Putin he opined in August 2015, “He steps one foot into any more of this Western territory and NATO has an agreement that an attack on one is an attack on everybody.” For good measure, he said in December that it was “time we punched the Russians in the nose.”
No doubt a campaign trail is not exactly the venue for subtlety. But Kasich continues to espouse a Manichean view of the world. According to Kasich, “So we see in the world growing nationalism, growing isolationism, anti-immigration and anti-trade. Now, if you put all that together, what does that stew look like? What does it mean for the world? What does it mean for stability?… I’m very worried about it. I’m very, very concerned.”