A government that sacrifices the long-term security of its own people in a vain attempt to appease its enemies of today cannot be said to protect either liberty or security. In his speech at 2011 CPAC, former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R–MN) repeatedly underlined this point. His comments were a strong reminder that we will “never, ever, ever, stop fighting for our freedom” and that in this fight we must maintain an “extraordinary commitment” to the cause.
Diplomacy is effective only if it can be enforced. Negotiating from a position of weakness only emboldens one’s enemies to press their advantage. This has been seen time and time again throughout history, and yet governments seem to forget this lesson. In the words of Pawlenty, “bullies respect strength, not weakness.” Unfortunately, today’s American “big stick” is old and rotting, not having been properly cared for in the 20 years since the end of the Cold War.