U.S. Weakness Is Provocative


George Washington used this maxim in his first State of the Union address, and it’s just as good a rule for us today as it was then. He said: “If we desire to secure peace, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” Ronald Reagan’s version of the same thought, “Peace through Strength,” was his successful slogan in winning the Cold War against the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately many people who haven’t read much history make the mistake of confusing military strength with belligerence. President Obama acts as if U.S. strength is provocative, that other countries fear our strength and our military establishment and believe America is a threat to the world. He has it exactly backwards. Anyone who needs proof can look at the world at the end of the Second World War. Then, we were the only superpower in the world, and we didn’t use that power to take over any other countries. On the contrary, we used our wealth to rebuild the countries we had defeated.

It’s not our strength that is provocative; it’s our weakness. Weakness is what encourages our enemies to take advantage when they think America is in decline and retreat. There are many evil people in the world and nations that hate us. When they sense a weak United States, they are motivated to seize the opening. When China’s official spokesman recently said, “U.S. power is declining and it hasn’t enough economic strength or resources to dominate the Asia-Pacific region, all the smaller countries in the South Pacific shuddered. The perception of U.S. weakness can be reversed, as Ronald Reagan did when he was President, but it is costly. The big cuts in our military strength are very harmful not only to our proper place in the world, but to the peace of other countries, too.

Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.

Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.

The Moral Liberal recommends: Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)