MITT ROMNEY “NO APOLOGY”. BOOK ANALYSIS. WHERE HE STANDS. Chapter One Pursuit of the Difficult. A Free and Strong America.
In 2010 Mitt Romney published a book of his political views and beliefs. Romney is a likely contender for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential campaign. He has approximately six million dollars in his federal campaign fund. The DNC has only seven million at this point. He also controls five state campaign funds to build his allies in bellwether states like Iowa, New Hampshire and Alabama which will be influential in the presidential nomination process. Therefore his views are important as they are bound to be influential no matter what transpires with his candidacy.
In the first chapter he briefly states his background. His grandparents were farmers in Mexico where they had fled to avoid religious persecution in the United State. They also had to leave Mexico because of threats by Mexican revolutionaries against the ex-patriate community. This caused his grandparents to move back to the United States where they went into the construction business. His father later became a successful businessman and eventually became President of American Motors
(Romney attended elite private preparatory schools in Michigan and went on to Stanford and finished college at Brigham Young University in Utah. From there he obtained a joint MBA/JD degree at Harvard. He did his required Mormon missionary work in France. Thereafter he was a venture capitalist and then governor of Massachusetts. These facts are not mentioned or only breifly alluded to is his brief outline of his back ground in chapter one.) He puts a lot of store in the lessons he learned from his father for instance when he made him weed the lawn often. “A difficult task that built character according to Romney? ” One wonders if weeding the lawn was more formative than his college years or his experience as Governor.
POINT OF VIEW RE: FOREIGN POLICY
Romney points out that Presidents like Truman and Eisenhower met the challenges of the post WWII period head on and established the United States as the political and moral leader of the World. They advanced the cause of democratic government and capitalism in the face of daunting challenges namely from the Soviet Union and its Marxist allies. Now we must seize the initiative if we are going to remain a positive force for democracy and free trade in the world.
He alleges that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990 through the efforts of our presidential leadership including Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. ( Most experts believe when oil dropped to ten dollars a barrel on the world market the Soviet Union no longer had the wherewithal to sustain itself economically. Gorbachev was intelligent and courageous enough to admit that Communism had feet of clay and dissolved the Empire.)
He now sees challenges for leadership from China, a totalitarian state, with a semi free market but little personal freedom; from Russia, which has reverted to totalitarianism under Putin, and its economy is not a true capitalist one but still dependent on oil. While there is more personal freedom than under communism the state brooks no criticism of its policies and actions and the KBG under Putin is the master of life and the economy; from Iran a religious theocracy whose aim is to overcome the West and through Islam dominate the World. Its economy is state controlled and is also dependent on oil.
The true force for democracy, freedom and capitalism or a free, lightly regulated economy is the United States which is supported in varying extent by the other Free World democracies. Democratic countries trading freely is the only system that appears to be sustainable according to Romney . Totalitarian states and controlled economies eventually collapse from their own inherent flaws. Just as the Soviet Union based on the Communist model collapsed, the British Empire, based on the mercantilist model broke down, the Spanish Empire based on conquest and transferring the wealth of the colonies to Spain withered away. Before that the Roman Empire based on slavery and conquest passed into history.
He points out that the United States has never sought to increase its power by conquest or colonies. Although we were the major victor in WWII we did not seek to expand the territory under our control. Indeed we undertook to rehabilitate our enemies and allies at great expense. (One guesses the accession of Northern Mexico is the exception that proves the rule and then there is Puerto Rico once a Spanish Colony and now a U.S Commonwealth which in the beginning was a guardian to that vital life line the Panama Canal when it was later constructed. This was probably the reason for the Spanish American War.)
The Premise of the book , No Apology, stems from the fact the United States has always been the champion of justice, freedom and liberty in the World and President Obama had no call to apologize for our conduct of the Iraqi and Iranian wars or our conduct of foreign affairs without consulting our long standing allies that occurred under Bush II.
(However the neo-conservatives in the Bush II administration had proclaimed the Twenty First Century the new American Millennium because we were the only super power in the world and therefore we could act in foreign affairs without seriously consulting our long standing allies as had been customary in the past. Thus except for Britain, always a stead fast supporter, we only received token support in the Iraqi and Afghan wars. Now we need the force of World opinion to stem the Iranian drive for hegemony in the Middle East. In part caused by the power vacuum in Iraq and the rise of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. North Korea in the Pacific is another problem. )
Thus the book starts out with a hollow premise and harks back to the blind foreign policies of the Bush II Administration which cost 4500 American dead in Iraq, and thousands of American casualties. This is not to consider the countless Iraqi dead and wounded both hostile and friendly. This price was paid but the main enemy Al Qaeda and their supporters are still active and still a threat to the United States and our Allies.
Romney is adopting the neo- conservative policies of the Bush II Administration with a different cover and assumes the U.S is the only force for freedom and justice in the World and therefore we have to go it alone. ( However to be a leader we must convince our Allies and even our detractors that our cause is just, feasible and rational: i.e. the confrontation in Iran. )
The free and strong part is always a good idea because we can’t be one without the other. However the rest of his mantra is moth eaten ideas left over from Bush II . The Obama Administration’s foreign policy ideas and conduct are more sophisticated, realistic and more likely to achieve the results we want using diplomacy and force only as the last resort. The goal is a democratic peaceful World that is free and strong not American hegemony over the world.