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The Evils of Political Tolerance Towards Rogue Regimes

The tolerance of an authoritative hand begets chaos, chaos in which dishonesty and maliciousness reign.

Yet, it is precisely this hand of appeasement America has extended to the regimes whose antics resemble those of the lashing out of a petulant child. Dissidents in Syria, Ukraine and Cuba have called out to the United States for help. But the Obama administration has either implicitly or explicitly supported dictators and autocrats through their deeds and words.

There’s a simple principle that should dictate American foreign relations: we don’t negotiate with bad guys. It doesn’t take a lot of moral courage, and it certainly shouldn’t offend anyone, to name those who kill and oppress their citizens as such. Refusing to sanction their atrocities by providing any form of verbal, financial or military support is a form of discrimination that should be lauded.

Politics is governed by a law of consequences. Bad political decisions, horribly deleterious though they are in many regards, have a purpose. They teach citizens what kind of policy and power stands as a threat to their interests. But this is only useful if it is allowed to run its course. Intervention, in the name of “humanitarianism” is ultimately not so in the long run because it empowers soft tyranny.

And that is precisely what the Iran Nuclear Deal does. It props up the anti-Semitic, anti-West death cult ideology of Islamic hardliners by funneling money into the Iranian economy, money that will doubtlessly be used, not for the betterment of society as some would claim, but to develop weapons that in turn will kill innocents.

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The Obama administration is subsidizing terrorism, just as it has tacitly with its embrace of Cuba and its refusal to stymie Putin.

This type of behavior from any nation that considers itself part of the world is appalling, but it is particularly so in America. Because America is a nation built on an ideology, an ideology that eschews the historical record of dynasties and empires built on force and oppression. So long as liberality and civil liberties lie at the heart of the nation, America has a duty to pursue a course that supports its foundational values. This means refusing to interact with nations whose actions are in direct opposition to these values — Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia, et cetera.

Trade embargoes are the perfect compromise between noninterventionism and moral regulation. The peoples of other nations are free to pursue whatever form of political society they feel is in their best interests and America retains its principled integrity.

After all, capitalism engenders a natural moral hierarchy. A consumer’s purchasing power is the entrepreneurial equivalent of the right to vote. When discretion underlies patronage of business, moral action is promoted organically, in a way that allows certain principles to be buoyed to the top of society without stamping out opposing views.

Without applying such a system to international policy, America remains inconsistent — merit underlies domestic action but not foreign. A respect for the rights of all people demands the same standard be applied to all of America’s interactions.


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About Katherine Revello

A recent graduate of the University of Maine, where she majored in journalism and political science, Katherine Revello is an aspiring political commentator. Her focuses include theory, the philosophy of money and populism. Currently, she is a graduate student at Villanova University. She is the founder of The Politics of Discretion, a blog dedicated to advancing her philosophy of discretionism. Follow her on Twitter: @MrsWynandPapers