How America Can Export Its Values
(The New America) -- by Bruce Walker --
...Although there is much to fault with the governments of Canada, Switzerland, Australia, and Holland, surely if the other countries of the world were more like those four nations, many problems they face would be much smaller. It is noteworthy that political decentralization — very strong states, provinces, or cantons — is at the heart of each of these governmental systems. It is also sadly true that the religious faith which was once very important in these four countries has moved sharply away from Christianity into secular humanism.
There is no need to slavishly copy everything about America. After the wars of liberation in Latin America, nearly all the new governments copied the U.S. Constitution. So, the “United States” of Mexico and the “United States” of Brazil both have state-federal systems with a president who is both chief executive and chief of state. Latin America ought to be rich, peaceful and free. But warfare, grandiose schemes of strongmen, practical abandonment of Catholicism (in too many places), and most of all the sin of coveting their “Yankee” neighbor, have held these nations down.
What should America do to help lift nations such as Libya and Syria out of the shadow of brutal tyranny and into the land of hope and liberty? The best program for our nation is to show the rest of the world how happy, free, peaceful, prosperous, and generous we can be. This means that the American President should do very little. Calvin Coolidge let America be America. The country lived in peace, enjoyed good relations with nearly all nations, experienced only a low level of political corruption, and ran a federal surplus with a small federal government. America “worked,” just as Jefferson and Washington intended it should.
Did America have a foreign policy? Oh, yes, but it was a foreign policy where the government concentrated on defense and diplomacy, and allowed private citizens to provide what is now termed "foreign aid." For instance, charities from this most charitable people in human history helped the Japanese recover from the an earthquake in 1923, which may have killed 150,000 people, and which utterly devastated the Japanese economy. Americans willingly gave aid, and this private outpouring of goodwill under Coolidge was the opportunity (wholly ignored by later political leaders, as the Second World War loomed) to create a long-term friendship with Japan.
Missionaries in China built hospitals and schools, along with ministering to the souls of the Chinese, and this work had a profound effect upon that vast nation. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-shek, the two great leaders of Republican China, were both Christians (as was Madame Chiang Kai-shek). Non-Americans also set an example of how people from Western Christian nations might positively serve the Third World. Mother Teresa entered poverty-stricken India with nothing and built up a compassionate charity which transformed many lives. Dr. David Livingston, all alone in the heart of Africa, brought the good news around which all good governments are formed. Dr. Albert Schweitzer, with his good works, also brought hope through selfless devotion supported only by private citizens who believed in him...MORE...LINK
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