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After some negotiation, you tell them you can do without the state-of-the-art technology and are willing to settle for a lounge with a television and a computer.Sure, it's not what you hoped for initially, but you like it, and feel good about it. In some ways, this example is similar to the 19th century concept of realpolitik.This cannot be said for many American elites who, despite acknowledging the enormous risks involved, nonetheless are convinced that the U. does have a moral obligation to intervene to uphold a liberal international order, if not an actual responsibility to protect the Syrian people from their own leaders.
As polls have demonstrated, Americans don’t dispute that Assad is an evil tyrant who massacres his own people sometimes with chemical weapons.
While they are horrified by such actions, they fundamentally disagree with the notion that America, as the global champion of liberty, has an obligation to get involved.
As Samantha Powers, the current UN Ambassador and a leading moral interventionist once wrote: “Few Americans are haunted by the memory of what they did in response to genocide in Rwanda.” It therefore seems that while U. elites may support a liberal foreign policy, the American public is mostly concerned with Realist objectives such as security and the national interest.
The duty of American elites then is not to wrap realist policies in liberal narratives, but to convince the American people that supporting a liberal foreign policy is in their national interest.
It is often stated that, in contrast to people from other countries, Americans’ political values preclude them from accepting a foreign policy based on realism.
Realists themselves are especially strong proponents of this argument.Let's pretend for a moment that you are the class president at your school.You have this fantastic vision to turn an empty classroom into a lounge.Although non-Western leaders obviously don’t use liberal maxims that would not resonate with their constituents, they often frame their policies in other moralistic or just terms.Perhaps the most common of these arguments are anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism. Iranian politicians use similar terms, albeit with a heavy dose of Islamic values added to their foreign policy discourse.You have this vision in your mind of a state-of-the-art lounge: complete with televisions, computers, virtual reality headsets, and even small robots that deliver snacks.There's just one problem: the powers that be aren't so sure the school has the money to invest in the virtual reality devices and the robots.Realpolitik is most commonly associated with German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who was a master statesman and used realpolitik extensively and with tremendous success.Bismarck and realpolitik are almost intertwined to those familiar with 19th century European history.Henry Kissinger, for instance, has argued that, “no serious American maker of foreign policy can be oblivious to the traditions of exceptionalism by which American democracy has defined itself” when crafting policy. “Americans tend to be hostile to realism because it clashes with their basic values…. is motivated by its national interest, it can reasonably claim to be supporting liberal principles.John Mearsheimer makes the case more forcefully, when he asserts that Americans inherently reject realism in favor of liberalism: Enjoying this article? In particular, realism is at odds with the deep-seated sense of optimism and moralism that pervades much of American society. However, sometimes America’s values and interests do conflict.