More than a Big Stick

Theodore Roosevelt spelled out a clear foreign policy… built on strength, defending interests, and standing with allies.  People rarely look past Roosevelt’s quoting  an old African proverb to describe his foreign policy approach.  However, TR not only carried a big stick, but altered American foreign policy forever.  Later Presidents would use the example set in 1904 to help maintain America’s place in the world.  Roosevelt explained it best:

Always be ready to use the Big Stick

“All that this country desires is to see the neighboring countries stable, orderly, and prosperous. Any country whose people conduct themselves well can
count upon our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it
keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general
loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere,  ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation….”

With our embassies under attack… our diplomats murdered, and our sovereignty challenged throughout the Middle East; are we dealing with civilized nations?  Is there chronic wrong doing in Egypt, Yemen, and Libya?  Should our President wield a big stick now?

What, me worry?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “More than a Big Stick

  1. I’m not sure this President is capable of wielding a big stick. It would be nice to have some sort of clear cut foreign policy… but perhaps I’m missing something.

  2. NEO

    I’ve said the same thing. The difference, I think, is that TR would have stopped it cold years ago, or told us why it wasn’t our problem. If nothing else, he knew how to make a decision.

  3. I thought decisive white men were outlawed in America sometime in the late 1960’s.

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