If you have access to The Wall Street Journal be sure to read Kate Bachelder O’Dell’s op/ed in the October 6 issue, “What Time Is It at the Heritage Foundation?”. It’s one of the best I have read on how far this country has come since the Ronald Reagan foreign policy leadership of the 1980s and the damage that has been done by Trumpism and the national populism of his fellow travelers that has infected it. And isn’t it sad that the Heritage Foundation, “Reagan’s think tank”, of which I have been a member for over 30 years, is leading a populist appeal against additional funding in support of Ukraine in its war with Russia, a la George McGovern’s “come home America” and Barack Obama’s “nation building at home”.
What would Reagan have done? Well, first he would have rebuilt America’s national defense spending to about double the current annual spending as a percentage of GDP as a deterrent to adventures like Putin in Ukraine and the Chinese in Taiwan. Second, unlike Joe Biden, he would have sounded the message loud and clear to Americans and our allies that the end game for the West in Ukraine must be “we win, they lose”. Third, he would emphasize that, contra the Heritage Foundation and too many Republicans, there is no false choice between our domestic priorities and our role as the leader of the free world and steward of the rule of law–we must succeed at both.