Rick Perry is perfectly positioned to create a new geopolitical consensus in the GOP

That’s why a “Jacksonian” approach to world affairs has been a perennial favorite in America. In a 2011 column considering Perry’s place in the Republican foreign policy debate, journalist Caroline Glick summed up the Jacksonian creed: “The US is different from the rest of the world and therefore the US should not try to remake the world in its own image by claiming that everyone is basically the same. The US must ensure its honor abroad by abiding by its commitments and standing with its allies. The US must take action to defend its interests. The US must fight to win or not fight at all. The US should only respect those foes that fight by the same rules as the US does.”…

To become president, he first must defeat both the “realist” candidate and the “neocon” candidate in his own party—Rand Paul in the first case, and Mitt/Jeb/Rubio in the second. Here, he has a big window of opportunity: neither the realists nor the neoconservatives have sealed the deal with the base on foreign policy. Culturally, Perry is much closer to the base than the libertarian peaceniks or the east coast elites. He can use that affinity to build confidence for a Jacksonian approach to world chaos.

Then, a Perry campaign has to prevail in the general election. The Democrat establishment will never permit Obama’s successor to go full McGovern on foreign policy. In addition to violating their most cherished internationalist beliefs, a neo-McGovernite campaign would give any GOP candidate the luxury of running a hard hawk campaign. Facing off against noted interventionist Hillary Clinton, Perry would have to sell voters on a more prudent, yet more unforgiving, foreign policy.

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