Marc Gimbel

Research Associate

Tea Party foreign policy = U.N. bashing

While the Tea Party owes its origins to domestic concerns, a unified foreign policy has failed to emerge. Tea Partiers often find themselves holding directly opposing views--especially with regard to America's military presence in the world. However, as Peter Baker's Foreign Policy article points out, "[i]f there's one thing Tea Party activists can agree on foreign-policy-wise, it's their aversion to international organizations.

Possibly due to this rare seeing of eye to eye, Tea Party candidates have come out swinging against international organizations like the United Nations. Candidates like Dan Maes of Colorado, Sharon Angles of Nevada, and Rand Paul of Kentucky have each vocalized the call to get the U.S. out of the U.N.

Tea Party Candidate Fears UN Bicycle Takeover. What's next UFO's?

Dan Maes, the leading GOP candidate for governor of Denver, came out against his rival Mayor John Hickenlooper over a bike sharing program. Maes spoke about the B-Cycle program, which places 400 rental bikes around the city to make commutes healthier and more environmentally friendly. Maes claims "if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty."

ICLEI is an international association of local governments committed to sustainable development. Denver became a partner with ICLEI before Hickenlooper was Mayor. Why is it then that Maes seems to think there is a deeper motive?

According to a Fox News poll, one third of Americans believe in UFOs. There has always been a conspiratorial fringe popping up in the pages of tabloids and conspiracy websites. These outbursts, which we used to tolerate as petty amusement, have somehow found its way into our political discourse. UN troops taking over Denver on bike is a bit harder to swallow than an ET invasion. CEO Don Kraus writes,

"Voices of fear are fanning xenophobic passions that threaten our nation's values, aspirations, and our ability to thrive in a connected world."

He cites Tea Party Candidate and former NFL star, Clint Didier who stated,

"We need to get out of the U.N. and to get the U.N. out of the United States" because, "they are out to take our guns and repeal American sovereignty"

Lessons from Hiroshima

August 6th marks the 65th anniversary of Hiroshima. The atomic bomb, dropped from an American B-29 war plane on the morning of August 6, 1945, killed 140,000 people; some were incinerated mid-step on the pavement.  In addition to U.N Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, a U.S Ambassador will be present at the Japanese commemoration for the first time.

The invention of the bomb was one of many regrettable byproducts of a world at war. Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein drafted a resolution in 1955 giving warning to the threat of nuclear war. They urged governments to "find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute."  There is greater demand than ever before for governments to find peaceful ways to settle disputes, often through treaties and international institutions. Despite the positive trend, there are still thousands of nuclear weapons looming in the arsenals of a handful of nations. These weapons have evolved significantly over the years. The codenames for the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" respectively. Today we are dealing with weapons of morbid obesity.

One of the most daunting threats to the continued survival of our world is nuclear war. Since nuclear weapons cannot be "un-invented", we need to find the political will to confine them to the pages of history books. Political will is needed for nations to trust each other. It is needed for politicians to ratify treaties. Without it we cannot safely guarantee that we will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima.