Last week, delegates to the Republican National Committee went line-for-line through the GOP party platform. CSPAN recorded the whole thing. As expected, much of the discussion focused on domestic issues, but there was certainly some items here that might interest UN Dispatch readers.
At the opening of discussion of international assistance, a delegate from Rhode Island called for a motion to strike the entire section, arguing that the USA should not give foreign assistance at all. In the ensuing debate former Missouri Senator Jim Talent, who has a reputation as a staunch conservative, offered a reasoned and dispassionate defense of American foreign assistance. The motion failed. The GOP apparently still believes in the value of American foreign assistance. Watch.
The next question to come up is whether or not American foreign assistance dollars should be directed toward American companies over foreign competitors. In offering this motion, a delegate from Vermont made clear that he believed American foreign assistance dollars ought to be a vehicle to support American companies. Several delegates offered reasoned counter-arguments against this motion. Some said that value-for-dollar should be our primary concern when dispersing foreign aid; others argued that aid should be a vehicle for diplomacy, not boosting American businesses (both of which are assessments with which I happen to agree). Have a watch:
It seems that when it comes to foreign assistance, the GOP establishment is not willing to let radical proposals undermine this basic tool of American foreign policy.