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Foreign Affairs Anthology Series

Essays for the Presidency

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Library of Congress Norma H. Davis
Foreign Affairs From The Anthology: Essays for the Presidency
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American Foreign Policy: a Democratic View

THE foreign policy of the Government of the United States should be a national policy, not a Democratic policy, nor a Republican policy. It should be one which will bring the greatest moral and material benefits to this country, and to the world in which we have a most important stake. Unfortunately, there is today a difference in the foreign policies of the Democratic and Republican Parties. This has been brought about partly by a difference in domestic policies, but chiefly by a partisan controversy which arose more than four years ago over the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles.

The foreign policy of a political party is usually of the same cloth as its domestic policy. The domestic policy of the Democratic Party is to do away with privilege as between individuals, and to secure the cooperation of all citizens for the common good; its standard of success is not the wealth of a few individuals, but the welfare of the people as a whole. Its foreign policy is to do away with privilege as between nations, and to secure the coöperation of all nations for their mutual welfare. The Republican Party, on the other hand, acts upon the theory that special privileges are essential for national prosperity, that tariff bounties must be granted to some, in order that those who are thus enriched may diffuse their wealth and allow it to seep down to the masses. Democrats hold that such an economic theory is unsound. The theory that a few must be enriched by governmental aid in order that they may in turn help others is repugnant to Democratic principles. This fundamental difference in the theories of the two parties in respect of domestic questions leads them to approach foreign questions from a somewhat different point of view. One is more concerned with the human aspects of problems, the other with material aspects. One abhors privilege in any form, the other likes it in certain ways.

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