Unfortunately, that limited-government foreign policy was ultimately abandoned in favor of an extensive overseas empire, one which now stations U.S. troops in more than 120 countries and in which the federal Leviathan now serves as the world’s international policeman, invader, occupier, torturer, and executioner.
Equally tragic is how U.S. officials, with the support of many Americans, have used the blowback from U.S. foreign policy to suspend the freedoms of the American people. There is spying on Americans, including monitoring of phone calls and email. There are secret courts and secret judicial proceedings. There are “signing statements,” which enable the president to ignore laws enacted by Congress. There are “executive orders,” which enable him to rule by decree.
Worst of all, there is the “enemy-combatant” doctrine, which now authorizes the military to take any American into custody, torture him, and keep him incarcerated for the rest of his life, despite what the Bill of Rights says about due process of law and trial by jury. With its direct military power to arrest, torture, and detain indefinitely, the enemy-combatant doctrine easily constitutes the most direct assault on American liberty in our lifetime.
Is there a way out of all this? Yes, but it involves a return to the founding principles of our nation, not just in domestic affairs but in foreign affairs as well. Private property. Individual liberty. A limited-government republic. The Constitution. The Bill of Rights. Due process of law. Habeas corpus. Trial by jury. Such principles constitute our heritage. Herein lies the key to extricating ourselves from the morass into which we have been plunged.
Big Government at Home and Abroad, Part 2