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    Friday, January 27, 2023

    GOP must reject isolationism

    This appeared in the Dallas Morning News.

    In the days before the midterm elections, it’s easy to see our political divisions.

    In fact, it’s all but impossible to escape them if you’re the sort of person who owns a television or has a mailbox.

    But we better be focused on one of the main things that should unite us: a clear idea about America’s role in a world that is becoming ever more dangerous for democracy and the rule of law.

    Republicans look poised to do well this election based on fears about the economy and a general wave of support for conservative values.

    But the GOP’s internal struggle over American foreign policy is increasingly worrisome.

    Too many Republican officials and candidates have been reluctant to offer full support for Ukraine’s defense of its democracy. Let’s be clear: The war in Ukraine is a proxy war for human freedom in Europe and around the world.

    In May, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the growing strain of isolationism in his party with The New York Times.

    “We have sort of an isolationist wing, and I think some of the Trump supporters are sort of linked up with the isolationists,” he said.

    That’s understating the matter.

    But to conservatives reading this we would say that there is nothing less conservative than sacrificing America’s place in the world as a standard-bearer for human freedom. We have historically been and must continue to be willing to sacrifice for the spread of democracy and the rule of law.

    That means being clear-eyed about the enemies of human freedom. Many are advancing. China has become an increasingly authoritarian society, where continued COVID-19 lockdowns are an excuse for the expansion of state power. Iran is in the throes of uprisings and the brutal suppression of people longing for freedom from theocracy. And in Russia, we have the most naked display of a thuggish dictator trying to steal another nation’s territory since World War II.

    Whatever happens Nov. 8, step one must be to keep up our ongoing support for Ukraine’s battle against tyranny. Because its victory, or its loss, will be a signal call to dictators and autocrats the world over.

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