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Idealistic Republicans, Realistic Democrats

The Global Beat http://www.nyu.edu/globalbeat notes: U.S. Foreign policy has traditionally oscillated between Wilsonian idealism and pragmatic realism, with Republicans generally favoring realism. In reviewing three books on American foreign policy for FindLaw.com, Andrew Dworkin notes that President Bush appears to have reversed the normal roles:

"Since the time of Woodrow Wilson, moral idealism in foreign policy has generally been seen as a Democratic position. But it is a Republican president who now purports to espouse an idealistic approach to world affairs, seeking to establish a new international order on the basis of ending tyranny and advancing freedom. (…) By contrast, the Democratic candidate in last year's presidential election, Senator John Kerry, emphasized primarily the costly and counterproductive nature of the war in Iraq, describing it as an unnecessary distraction from the more important objective of defeating Al Qaeda. In contrast to Bush, Kerry took a position closer to the foreign policy tradition of realism - an outlook which aims at the promotion of national security, wealth, and power through conventional diplomatic means.“

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