Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is the Tea Party Really Serious About a Return to the Founding?

In 1793, in reaction to the French Revolution, much of Europe broke out into war. At the time, there was also an intense internal battle going on between the Hamiltonian Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans that was turning nasty and venomous. In fact, both men deplored one another and sought to sabotage the efforts of each other whenever possible. Nonetheless, even in the midst of this nasty rivalry that almost tore Washington's cabinet apart they were able to agree on one thing: Neutrality in the conflicts of Europe. A founding era foreign policy that lasted the better part of 150 years.

Here is the text of Washington's Proclamation:

"Whereas it appears that a state of war exists between Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, Great Britain, and the United Netherlands, of the one part, and France on the other; and the duty and interest of the United States require, that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerant Powers;
I have therefore thought fit by these presents to declare the disposition of the United States to observe the conduct aforesaid towards those Powers respectfully; and to exhort and warn the citizens of the United States carefully to avoid all acts and proceedings whatsoever, which may in any manner tend to contravene such disposition.
And I do hereby also make known, that whatsoever of the citizens of the United States shall render himself liable to punishment or forfeiture under the law of nations, by committing, aiding, or abetting hostilities against any of the said Powers, or by carrying to any of them those articles which are deemed contraband by the modern usage of nations, will not receive the protection of the United States, against such punishment or forfeiture; and further, that I have given instructions to those officers, to whom it belongs, to cause prosecutions to be instituted against all persons, who shall, within the cognizance of the courts of the United States, violate the law of nations, with respect to the Powers at war, or any of them.
In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand. Done at the city of Philadelphia, the twenty-second day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the seventeenth."
There you have it. After reading this and understanding that non-intervention was the foreign policy for majority of our time as a nation, one has to wonder if conservatives that support having troops in 70% of the world are not being a little disingenuous with all this "return to the founding" talk. If Tea Party folk are elected this November and this does not change one will have to wonder:

Is the Tea Party Really Serious About a Return to the Founding?

This is not a partisan shot in that I am partial to much of what the Tea Party stands for but deplore the duplicity of some.


  1. Hey K of I,

    Does tvd want me on AC? He's a nice guy, so is Jon by the way. Anyways, what do you think of my post refuting Barrett's 1825 arguments for the unitarian faith?

  2. OFT,

    I think Tom would be alright with it. I am not sure about Jon. Email them and ask. I did not read the post about Barret but will when I get some time. I am glad that you reminded me I will email Tom and Jon and ask about you.