The following is a guest post from Adrianne Redding. Adrianne is currently studying Political Science at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
They say that no man is an island. For that matter, in this day and age, no country is an island either. Globalization tends to divide conservatives and liberals from one another. As a political conservative myself, I used to think that any degree of globalization had to mean giving up our national sovereignty or of bowing to the United Nations or another international governmental organization. But I have learned that globalization, or at least a strong global awareness, can be much simpler, much more beneficial to everyone than the extreme picture I previously had in my mind.
During my two separate trips to Europe (Ireland, England, Italy, and Spain) I heard the same thing over and over, from the Lebanese man on the London tube to Italian priests: Presidents Reagan and Clinton are their favorite Americans by far. To Americans, these former presidents might as well be as different as night and day. It really puzzled me at first how Reagan and Clinton both were held in so high regard in Europe. I finally realized: they both invested themselves and America in the international community. The Germans will never forget Reagan’s demand to Gorbachev in front of the Berlin Wall. And the Northern Irish will never forget Clinton’s calm insistence for peace.
In Ireland, which is in the midst of a horrible recession, I heard people explain that while their recession was Irish-made, the American recession had affected their economy on top of their problems.
In Italy I saw how much commerce flows in between countries around the world, including the United States (a prime example is the fashion industry).
Political conservatives are generally skeptical of change and try to stay as close as they can to the “original intent” of the foreign policies of our Founding Fathers. I personally find that a worthy goal and wholeheartedly support that. However, we also need to remember that new foreign policies should not be immediately shunned because they have no history behind them yet. For example, in the United States’ early history, isolationism worked for a while, especially when it took a couple of months to cross the Atlantic. Other policies, like non-interventionalism, have been tried over the years with varying degrees of success.
But the world is getting smaller, and our international economy shows that. To some extent, globalization is unavoidable. And some has already happened through huge international corporations, like Wal-Mart, and international loans, like those between China and the United States.
Am I advocating a stronger, more powerful UN? No.
Am I suggesting that the United States relinquish its national sovereignty? Not at all.
But I do think that Americans need to realize that what we do does affect the rest of the world. And vice versa.