Today America’s leaders, ignoring the example of Dr. Kissinger, have abandoned realpolitik. Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor who united Germany coined the term. In its original German it means “the politics of reality.” According to the tenets of realpolitik, foreign policy has only one purpose: the security of the state. Instead our leaders have subverted it to crusading for the touchy feely advancement of causes and ideologies.
The recent visit of Hu Jintao, the President of Communist China, revealed the fruits of this strategy. Prior to his arrival he demeaned the status of our currency and announced that he will not compromise over trade deals radically skewed in China’s favor. And why should he? He, along with the rest of the world, have taken their measure of our current leadership and they know even if they don’t receive the infamous bow they will receive the deference reserved for everyone except our traditional allies.
Our trade policies force us to open our markets while those of our trading partners are blocked by fees and regulations. Our foreign policy is littered with wars we aren’t allowed to win and we won’t stop fighting. Our once dominate high technology has been given away or stolen. Our once predominate industrial base has been shipped overseas. And our once prevailing credit surplus has been changed into the biggest debt in History. This is the record of the last twenty years, and a record that reminds me of an old song, “Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? ”
Ronald Reagan emerged through the ridicule and derision of the establishment to take realpolitik to its logical conclusion: engineering the destruction of the Evil Empire and the absolute ascendancy of the United States. Since he left the scene our Presidents have led a steady advance to the rear. The North American Free Trade Act ( NAFTA) opened the flood gates as co-called free trade gutted our industrial base. Social engineering and the colossal spending it requires have bankrupted us.
Are we to be the generation that drops the ball? Each generation of Americans has bequeathed to their posterity a land stronger than they received. We were handed the unquestioned leadership of the world and after less than two decades we have frittered it away. If we are to reverse the slide we must make the decision that from this day forward we will chart a new course. From this day forward we will face reality and do the hard things necessary to reclaim our greatness and preserve the heritage of America for our children.
What are the solutions to the seemingly unsolvable problems we face? They aren’t hard; mostly they’re just common sense.
Government and people stop over spending and live within your means. Lower or repeal all taxes. Cut the regulations on everything. Abandon so-called free trade and seek equitable trade. End the wars. Quit being the policeman of the world. Bring our troops home. Seal the borders. Admit that Social Security has been a ponzi scheme since day one. Realize that all the money we’ve paid into it over the years has been flushed down a rat hole. It isn’t there. Now Figure out a fix with that in mind. Drill baby drill and approve a few permits to build some new refineries while you’re at it. And if we must buy oil quit buying it from people who hate us in areas where they don’t want us. Instead buy our oil from Mexico. This would pump money into our neighbor’s economy instead of Al Qaeda’s and perhaps our neighbor’s citizens might want to stay in their own country. Quit apologizing for our past and put America first.
If we’re to have a tomorrow we must make today count. We must live each day as a day worth living for each day lived is one less we have to live, and there are only so many days. Today is the day to make tomorrow happen.
Dr. Robert R. Owens teaches history, political science, religion, and leadership for Southside Virginia Community College. Dr. Owens is the author of “America Won the Vietnam War,” “The Asuza Street Revival,” and called “The Constitution Failed.” He is available for speaking engagements.