By: Matthew Pipkin, Columnist
Webster’s dictionary defines a “neoconservative” as the following: a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means. Famous neoconservatives include George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio to just name a few. The term has grown to be a dirty word in political circles in the post-Iraqi war America.
It gets associated with the images of President George W. Bush with the famous “Mission Accomplished” sign behind him on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003. News broadcasts with torched American Humvees in downtown Baghdad still send shivers down the spines of Americans to this day. The resulting insurgencies in Iraq and (still) in Afghanistan have cost the lives of thousands of Americans, leaving plenty more wounded and scarred for life. With distinct memories of Iraq and Afghanistan in mind, many Americans simply do not have a taste for an interventionist foreign policy. But I believe we must keep pressing on, and keep spreading democracy by any and all means necessary across the globe. It is our moral obligation, as the leader of the free world, to lead these efforts in the various struggles for freedom and prosperity around the world. No other nation can lead like this effort like the United States can, making us exceptional on the world stage.
Even in this political climate, there are some in Congress who hold and commit to these beliefs. Senator Marco Rubio has been one of the leading voices in the ongoing struggle in the Venezuelan crisis, and to spreading democracy across Latin America. Nicolas Maduro, the tyrant leader of Venezuela, has been challenged by interim President Juan Guaido as being the illegitimate leader of the country. Guaido cites recent severe economic declines, food shortages, violence against unarmed civilians, and various human rights abuses as reasons to topple the brutal dictator. Sen. Marco Rubio has recently traveled to Columbia to assure the United States’ commitment to helping Guaido and the rest of Venezuela with humanitarian aid. The most recent delivery of the aid, much of which is food and water for the starving nation, was attacked by Venezuelan thugs that torched the trucks coming into the country. Time will only tell what will happen next in this ongoing struggle for freedom and prosperity in this desperate nation.
It is a moral obligation for the United States to stand up to the thugs around the world, and to promote the expansion of democracy across the world. It is a human right to have basic freedoms, such as picking and choosing your own leader, respected in your home country. As a neoconservative, I acknowledge that the last thing we want to do is get in another foreign war. We do need to be cautious about our next move, but we must cannot let tyrants like Maduro continue to hold power and terrorize his own people. I pray that our leaders will keep the Venezuelans’ best interests in mind.