Samantha Power, former President Barack Obama’s UN ambassador and President Joe Biden’s head of the Agency for International Development, has taken to the pages of Foreign Affairs to brand all populists as autocratic and “antipluralist,” and to explain the Biden administration’s program of democratic hegemony.
She portrays 21st-century global politics as a struggle between democracy and autocracy. And she calls for “beat[ing] back antidemocratic forces” at home and abroad and “extend[ing] the reach of freedom.” Power claims to be “invested in the global renewal of democracy” and urges U.S. policymakers to “take the fight for democracy into the digital realm” and to promote global economic equality, “finance global infrastructure,” and spread the “rule of law” across the globe. Power’s proposals are in reality an elitist program for increased interventions in other nations and perhaps more endless wars abroad.
Power claims that the biggest threat to democracy is digital “disinformation and other forms of information manipulation.” So the United States, she writes, will “counter foreign influence campaigns and disinformation” and seek to “inoculate” other societies against disinformation by promoting “media and digital literacy” and teaching countries to recognize “misleading [social media] posts and articles.” In other words, the United States will help foreign governments impose censorship on their citizens. The word “censorship” does not appear in Power’s article, but the implication of her “digital literacy” program is unmistakable. We will help foreign governments educate their citizens against information that U.S. policymakers deem to be “disinformation.” If Samantha Power deems an essay in The American Spectator to be disinformation, social media posts by former President Donald Trump to be “antipluralist,” or digital articles that question the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and policies to be misleading, then the U.S. government will help foreign governments to suppress them as part of what she calls “the global fight against digital authoritarianism.”
Power also seeks to have the United States and its G-7 partners promote economic equality and “economic and social inclusion” in other countries. This project is called “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment,” and it will use Americans’ tax dollars to finance “clean energy projects and climate resilient infrastructure” as well as the “responsible mining of metals and critical minerals.” It also calls for directing profits to “indigenous groups” and “women and the disadvantaged.”
The United States, Power writes, will “support free and fair electoral processes around the world.” The U.S. will determine — in partnership with “leading global organizations” — what is a “free and fair” election “around the world.” This includes a strategy to “detect and root out” corruption in other countries. To that end, she writes, “We support global investigative units that unite forensic accountants and journalists to expose” corruption in other countries.
Samantha Power is a dangerous ideologue, and the ideology she promotes within the Biden administration is what Pat Buchanan calls “democratism.” In his book Day of Reckoning, Buchanan described the “democratist temptation” as “the worship of democracy as a form of governance and the concomitant ambition to see all mankind embrace it.” It is an ideology — embraced previously by George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks — “which asserts a right to meddle in the affairs of every country on earth.” It is Wilsonianism on steroids. After all, Woodrow Wilson sought only to “make the world safe for democracy.” Samantha Power seeks to make democracy universal throughout the globe. And she is willing to have our government intervene in the domestic affairs of other nations — including their elections, economies, and digital media — to bring her utopian dream to fruition. That dream, as she writes, is to “swing the pendulum of history back toward democratic rule.” And with the Global Infrastructure and Investment program, the Biden administration has, unsurprisingly, added “wokeism” to “democratism.”
Samantha Power displays a foreign policy hubris that would have made the Founding Fathers blush. It is hubris based on an ideology that would have been foreign to George Washington and John Quincy Adams — indeed, foreign to almost all American statesmen until very recent times. And that is because most practical statesmen understand that geopolitics, not ideology, must be the basis of a nation’s foreign policy.
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