(Newest letter of mine in Wall Street Journal, printed on July 30, 2008)
Experience Versus Judgment Concerning Foreign Policy
Richard Allen's "Obama's Experience Doesn't Match Up" (op-ed, July 24) on foreign policy experience is right, but for the wrong reasons. Good foreign policy is not about experience, it is about principles. More specifically, who best defends American liberty? John McCain has better liberty principles than Barack Obama, but both are far from a Ronald Reagan, who had little foreign policy experience before taking office. He proved that principles are the primary mover of good foreign policy. Mr. Allen touches on this but doesn't get to the point of President Reagan's strength: his love of American liberty and his almost unshakeable dedication to protecting and nurturing it.
Did his principles come before or after his voracious reading? Many leaders have read as much as Mr. Reagan did but they did not have his discerning mind or visceral understanding of what liberty is. He understood that sometimes it is necessary to preserve liberty through violence or the explicit threat of violence against belligerent foes.
David Elmore Roswell, Ga