An administration may reasonably offer indications to other governments on its attitude towards a possible momentous policy change. Normally, such indications ought to be conveyed in politic, perhaps even intramural, rather than publicly ostentatious fashion. All the more, a responsible government is well advised to be very careful to join the fray in foreign electoral campaigns. It may be just about a borderline case of admissibility when the US government takes sides in the debate of Brexit (Britain's exit from the EU), but the sheer incompetence and ignorance of US foreign policy in the face of its most important challenges never ceases to amaze me; the "masterpiece" being the enormously costly, decade-long destabilisation of the Muslim world from Libya to Afghanistan at the hands of both Republican and Democratic Administrations. It would seem, however, none of the presidential aspirants show promise to change this major shortcoming.
The source. There is something special about the English art of vituperative commenting.
While US Secretary of State, John Kerry, emphasises that his country has a ‘profound interest… in a very strong United Kingdom staying in a strong EU’, Matt Ridley begs to differ:
How would Americans like it if we argued that it is in our interests that the United States should forthwith be united with all the countries in their continent north of the Panama Canal — Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama — into a vast customs union governed by a trans-national, unelected civil service. Let’s call it the American Union, or AU.
Imagine that Britain’s Foreign Secretary has just made a speech in Toronto saying he thinks America should join the AU in order to influence Mexico in the direction of free trade. The great and the good in America agree, because they think being part of the ten-country AU will prevent war, boost trade, help smaller nations compete with the behemoths of Europe and China, enable free movement of people, stand up to Russia, encourage scientific co-operation and ensure environmental protection.
Above all, we argue, it would show the world that America is not small-minded, xenophobic, protectionist and isolationist. To this end we think the AU should — er — agree a common tariff against imports from the poorer countries of South America and have free movement of peoples within but not from outside the union. We also think the United States should give up the dollar and use a common currency issued in central America, called the auro, sometimes known as the oreo, or if it is not ready to do that, should encourage others to use the auro, even though there is limited fiscal harmonisation, which bodes ill for the single currency. Oh, and the flag of the AU, consisting of ten radial yellow stripes on a blue background, should be prominently displayed alongside the Stars and Stripes.
Unfortunately, in the current political climate, it turns out that these manifest advantages, deliciously attractive though they might be to the American elite, because they offer an escape from having to think about people in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, apparently do not have quite the same appeal to the American electorate. People are worried about Mexicans taking their jobs, using their health care and drawing upon their welfare if they join the AU. And about Panamanians running up deficits, Guatemalans passing laws that affect Americans and Nicaraguans sharing a common foreign policy.
The average Trump voter might not like Congress much, but he likes the idea of an expensive international parliament that shuttles between Mexico City and Vancouver even less, and of an international executive whose directives pass automatically into law still less, let alone one whose corridors of power are positively seething with lobbyists from big business and big pressure groups (funded by the AU to lobby it). As for the idea that the US Supreme Court could be overruled by judges sitting in Toronto or Managua…
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