The United States officially declared itself with one fundamental truth as its foundation:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This is not some by-law or amendment. This is the core principle we founded an entire nation upon. It is in our blood and in our hearts, and defines what we consider truly right and wrong. While Americans actively encourage other nations to accept this principle, we do not force them to. But for those who directly oppose this ideal, how much must we be forced to deal with these nations?
To Paul, the line in the sand is foreign aid. We send out millions upon millions of U.S. aid globally every year. We do it in an attempt to foster peace and democracy as well as purely humanitarian aid. But what do we do when that aid lands in the hands of foreign governments with policies hostile to women or their Christian minorities? Those that strip religious liberties and deny women their rights? Are we to give financial support to people who actively oppose our highest of ideals?
Last Tuesday, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting, Paul was quoted as saying:
“The U.S. taxpayer has forked over billions of dollars to the Pakistani government, which condones the persecution of Christians. Many countries that receive U.S. foreign aid have laws that officially discriminate against Christians. Persecution of women is wrong. Persecution of Christians is wrong. Persecution of women or Christians in the name of religion must be stood up to. American power, if it is to have value in the world, must be used as a force against persecution. Our aid money, for example, should never go to countries that persecute women or Christians, not one dime. But today, it does.”
This is not a call to eliminate foreign aid. This is a principled stand on the values our nation was built upon. How can we defend our universal, “unalienable rights” when we’re willing to sell them out abroad for political expediency?
Americans say they are tired of war. Indeed, Paul has said himself that war should only be the last, extreme resort to solve conflict. But how else do we enforce our beliefs abroad? How do we peacefully reshape the world to try and make it a better place – for women, for Christians, and for the planet as a whole? To Paul, one key tool is American aid.
“Our jobs, as the powerful, is to use our might to speak for those who cannot. Whether that is the bully pulpit, our foreign aid, our State Department, our immigration policy, or our trade policy, all avenues should be open to us in solving this worldwide problem.”
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