Libertarian foreign policy is simple, though critics make it out to be something more complicated than it really is.
As Frederich Bastiat said in his treatise “The Law,” he stated, “If goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.”
Diplomacy and free trade are paramount to peace and cooperation amongst nations, and libertarians believe that both those factors, when respected, can prevent most international incidents from occurring if certain politicians just let free people be.
However, libertarians are not averse to war and believe it is the right of nations to defend themselves of another nation has attempted to invade their sovereign territory or inflict harm upon their civilian populations.
Now, what do you do if you aren’t dealing with another country?
What do you do if you are dealing with an alien invasion from outer space?
Congressman Seth Moulton thinks he has a plan.
The recent addition to the crowded field for the Democratic nomination for president told Buzzfeed News if encountered with a potential alien invasion, he would first try diplomacy. Moulton started out by saying he’d attempt to invite the aliens over for a meal to break bread and offer them a “classic American meal” such as a cheeseburger and a beer.
“I would not build a wall between here and Mars,” Moulton stated, “I would not do that. No, you got to start — and this is serious, guys — you got to start with diplomacy. You always have to start with diplomacy.”
While the hypothetical alien invasion situation is mostly a joke, the question’s underlying goal was to see how the candidate sees the world around him where trade wars and military conflicts are often fought by egos and bullets instead of cool heads and negotiations.
Early in America’s founding, George Washington warned the United States to avoid entangling alliances, put diplomacy before grandstanding, and allow the free trade of goods and labor amongst voluntary people to sort out the rest.
Author Brian Doherty published an article at the Cato Institute several years back discussing the need for positive diplomatic relations and healthy trade throughout the world, saying, “economic and moral case for free trade of goods, capital, and labor across borders is so strong, and so core to the libertarian vision, that any politician, party, or group that professes to further the cause of liberty and does not understand and advocate it cannot be relied on as an intelligent ally.”
While actions speak louder than words, it is refreshing to hear a candidate speak in favor of peace, diplomacy, beer, and cheeseburgers instead of getting into unconstitutional foreign conflicts in order to flex our collective muscle and waging needless protectionist trade wars that inadvertently harm Americans in the long run.