When I think of the greatest American president’s, Harry Truman would be on my first hand. When you’re talking about the 20th Century, I believe it comes down to either Harry Truman or Franklin Roosevelt. I would give the edge to President Truman when it came to civil rights and desegregating the military, to use as an example. Creating the tools to fight and eventually win the Cold War against Russia.
When you want to talk about the so-called progressive foreign policy and that phrase gets thrown around Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, you want to look at FDR and HST. A liberal internationalist foreign policy, that is not about basically going without any strong military presence at all, or trying to police the world. But working with our allies to promote freedom and democracy and keeping the world safe.
Conservatives, certainly had a role in creating the National Security State in America. Department of Defense, the CIA, United Nations, NATO, etc. But it’s really Progressives that were in power the whole time during this period. Like the Roosevelt Administration and then later President Truman and his administration, that decided the way to defeat the Soviet Union, is for the West to be strong and united against communism and authoritarianism in general. Which means a strong America, a strong Canada and a strong Europe. The whole point of NATO which is the North Atlantic defense alliance, that covers North America and Western Europe, for the most part, was to prevent Russia from attacking any of these countries. This was created by Roosevelt/Truman. Two Progressive Democrats.
The progressive foreign policy or what I at least call liberal internationalism, is about being strong at home. A strong economy and strong military, not to police the world. But to prevent anyone else from even attempting to attack you. And to work with your allies to keep the world as safe as possible. Assist your vulnerable allies with military and economic aide. This speech right here from President Truman was about economic and military and economic aide to Greece and Turkey. Two long time aides of America. That was part of the Truman Doctrine. Being strong at home and working with your allies around the world like Greece and Turkey, to prevent Russia and other authoritarian countries, like China, from trying to take over peaceful countries.
President Truman’s main accomplishments as President were in foreign policy. Ending World War II against Germany and Japan. And again putting the tools in place to fight and eventually win the Cold War. The National Security State at home, United Nations and NATO abroad. Russia never tried to invade Western Europe the Democratic states there and the United States and Soviet Union never fired a shot against each other during the Cold War. Because both countries were so strong militarily and America was so strong economically most of this war, that both countries were smart enough not to go to war against each other, because of all the damage and lost lives that could have come as a result. And President Truman deserves a lot of credit for this.
THULE: Truman Doctrine- Speech March 12, 1947