I had the good fortune of attending a speech by Sen. Rand Paul earlier this week in which the senator from Kentucky made the case for a “conservative constitutional foreign policy.” His office has recently posted the text of his remarks, and it is worth a closer look.
Senator Paul tweaked President Obama for disagreeing with Senator Obama when it comes to the war power, a point that I highlighted here a few weeks ago.
But Paul’s remarks went well beyond the Libyan war. He explained that he was trying to stake out a middle ground between the extreme of intervening militarily everywhere, all the time, and nowhere, none of the time.
What I’m talking about here has a relatively recent example: Ronald Reagan.
Reagan’s foreign policy was one in which we were somewhere, some of the time, in which the missions were clear and defined, and there was no prolonged military conflict — and this all took place during the Cold War.…
Reagan’s policy was much less interventionist than the presidents of both parties who came right before him and after him. And Reagan’s foreign policy was certainly more restrained than that of our current president.
I’d argue that a more restrained foreign policy is the true conservative foreign policy, as it includes two basic tenets of true conservatism: respect for the Constitution, and fiscal discipline.
The whole speech can be found here.