Over the past two years, the Tea Parties have become a national movement in opposition to President Barack Obama's domestic political agenda, advocating conservative positions on issues such as taxation, health care reform, the bail-outs of the banking and auto industries, and immigration. But what do Tea Partiers think about foreign policy?
Foreign Policy magazine's Josh Rogin used this weekend's Glenn Beck-led rally at the Lincoln Memorial as an opportunity to find out. Rogin interviewed ralliers to ask them about the chief foreign policy issues of the day. He found that the Tea Party followers, for all the movement's focus on domestic issues, "have no unified view on major foreign policy issues. They are all over the map."
The positions may get confused because Tea Party leaders, from Sarah Palin to Ron Paul, articulate vastly different foreign-policy principles. "Some attendees sounded like reliable neocons arguing for more troops abroad. Others sounded like antiwar liberals, lamenting the loss of life in any war for any reason. Still others sounded like inside the beltway realists, carefully considering the costs and benefits of a given policy option based on American national security interests."
Many cite the Bible and religion in determining foreign policy decision. One person Rogin spoke to "said that her foreign policy views were determined exclusively by her faith." Some called for a global foreign policy strategy based on evangelical predictions about the apocalypse. Interestingly, no one Rogin spoke to supported an Israeli or American attack on Iran.