ireymon-deactivated20140415 asked: what are your parent's political ideologies? are there things you can agree on with them?
My mum varies between Liberal and NDP, and my Dad’s a registered Democrat (she’s Canadian, he’s American), and by and large I agree with them on just about everything. They’re both fairly moderate, but really so am I so I don’t disagree with them much. There are a few cases where we’ve had conflict, specifically around intervention in Syria (this was around 8 months ago). I argued for no intervention for a variety of mostly pragmatic reasons, my mum argued for intervention based on moral reasons, which I sympathized with but still disagreed. Besides that, we’ve had little disagreements, though I suspect that I’ve thought and am therefor rather more invested in the social (though not civil!) liberties side of things.
You know, it’s funny, every time I come back to tumblr I’m reminded why I quit.
Because when the first two posts contain someone thinking Obama’s literally a fascist and lesbian furry erotica, there’s a problem.
I don’t think I’d define myself as a neoconservative. I think that’s a label others would often use to define me, but it’s not a label I’d claim for myself.
While I’m still in the relatively early stages of my education on foreign policy and international relations as a whole, I generally find myself supporting the United States in particular as a dominant world hegemon, purely because I’m well aware that the use of U.S. force projection can have in deterring conflict across the world. I’m not so sure I’m keen on the United States launching ill advised bloody adventures around the world in favour of ‘spreading democracy’. I’m not sure I’m terribly keen on Wilsonian foreign policy, nor am I entirely convinced that any one country should have the responsibility of spreading, heh, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”, especially if other states don’t want that.
That being said however, I also view the spread of liberalization and liberal democracy in particular as a benefit to a hypothetical American intervention, but I don’t think it should be the sole goal. I worry that if the spread of human rights and democracy is the predominant goal of intervention, then many many many states around the world would be at risk, and intervention in those spheres would be ‘justified’. So rather than support intervention in conflict zones across the world due to high minded ideals, I would rather support the United States (or any world hegemon in a similar situation) and its use of force and force projection as a tool of peace. Even if that peace is achieved, ironically, through force (but then, hasn’t that always been how peace has been achieved?). I honestly think that the United States is a powerful deterrent to armed conflict and full blown wars, and I think that they’ve certainly stopped more wars than they’ve started, saved more lives than they’ve taken. Hell, just look at Taiwan!
That doesn’t mean I think intervention based on morals should never happen; I think in cases of genocide or severe human rights infringement intervention can well be justified. I just think that ending conflict and preserving peace and order should be some of the foremost considerations.
And besides that, I’m a Jew. I’m a minority in almost every aspect of my life, the only things I really have going for me (to delve into tumblr-esque levels of privilege) is that my skin is white, and I’m upper middle class. I just went on a trip to Europe visiting all the Holocaust memorial sites that I can.
If something like that repeated today could be stopped by a world hegemon, if the United States could check the ambitions of a modern day Imperial or Nazi Germany? How could I not support such an institution? How can I do anything but align myself with, on a fundamental level, the world order that would prevent a third world war?
So I don’t know what I’d label myself, in terms of my foreign policy ideology. I believe in intervention, I believe in the use of force. I think gunboat diplomacy is hella effective and often I don’t think high minded ideals enter into it. I like to think of myself as a realist more than anything else.
But I don’t think I’m a neocon. I may support some of their agenda, but I think that they and I approach it from two fundamentally different perspectives. I just think our policy recommendations may often be identical.