Editorial of The New York Sun | October 22, 2012
“Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.”
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That was President Obama’s jibe at Governor Romney in the foreign policy debate just ended. We figure the reason the governor sat there without responding is that he was just too flattered. The fact is that the foreign policies of the 1980s, the social policies of the 1950s, and most emphatically the economic policies of the 1920s have a great deal to commend of themselves. They would be improvements over the policies that we have had the past four years.
The foreign policies of the 1980s were the foreign policies of President Reagan. The Gipper came into office in a period of stagflation, with the Soviet Union on the march and a yawning military gap with the communist world. When he handed over the reins to his vice president, after eight triumphant years in the White House, the country was in an economic boom, the Berlin Wall was about to come down, and the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse. Victory was at hand in the Cold War.
Mr. Romney would not defend — and cannot be accused of preferring — all of the social policies of the 1950s; racial segregation was still legal and same sex relationships were still closeted, for example. But what does Mr. Obama have to say about other features of the Fifties? There were far fewer abortions, divorce rates were radically lower — half — of what they’ve been running in recent years. Out of wedlock births were way lower. Authority was more respected. There was a greater sense of modesty and decorum, many of us sense (others may resent it).