Robust Nationalism

Conservatives are divided on matters of foreign policy. Nonetheless, there is still a creed that can bind them together.

Issue: Winter 1999-2000

Is there such a thing as a conservative foreign policy? There was during the Cold War, but now the answer appears to be "no." People who consider themselves conservative and are so considered by others hold widely different views on the general role of the United States in world affairs and on specific foreign policy issues. These differences are rooted in the two strands of conservative thought that exist in America, classic conservatism and doctrinal conservatism. Yet some key assumptions and values are common to most conservatives and much less common among liberals and other non-conservatives. These could be the basis for a robust nationalism that would unite most conservatives, distinguish conservative foreign policy sharply from its liberal alternatives, and have great appeal to the bulk of the American people.

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