Third, Romney appreciates that the special relationship, at its core, reflects a historic commitment to preserving economic liberty and defending each other’s national interest.
In striking contrast, Obama-the-internationalist epitomizes today’s faddish preference for submerging national sovereignty — and, consequently, the national interest — within illiberal multinational institutions, such as the E.U. and the U.N.
Nonetheless, the next Big Idea in foreign policy isn’t “progressive” global governance. It’s the Anglosphere.
The Anglosphere is centered on the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, that is, a core group of still-leading countries who share a language, a common set of values, a legal history, and a longstanding tradition of cooperation.
Foreign policy realists increasingly believe the Anglosphere will remain the pre-eminent economic, military, technological, and cultural power for the rest of this century. Progress on the most pressing international problems may be impossible without the Anglosphere’s contribution.
Obama, as a citizen-of-the-world, naturally resists this back-to-the-future tide. As his country’s coolest president, he wants America to be viewed as the 21st century’s coolest nation. And her besuited, provincial cousins in the Anglosphere are oh so terribly 20th century.
Prior to his debate performance, Romney was caricatured as an out-of-touch patrician stuck in an earlier age. Ironically, Romney’s worldview actually places him at the forefront of the next foreign policy paradigm.
For the Anglosphere to work effectively, each member nation must be economically robust. And their relationships with one another must be complementary and mutually supportive.
Obama’s re-election, however, would be bad news on both fronts. It portends, at best, an anemic American economic recovery that won’t rescue a British economy again mired in recession.
Romney’s menu of spending cuts, lower taxes, and less regulation is far more likely to produce high economic growth. Such productive motion will create a transatlantic ripple effect.
Obama’s re-election also would be bad political news for the British. Obama doesn’t appreciate that the quest for new friends doesn’t necessitate the shunning of one’s oldest friend.
Revealingly, although Britons still like him, only 41 percent think Obama has considered British interests when making foreign policy decisions. A second-term Obama administration will continue to rate the U.K. as no more than a second-tier foreign policy concern frequently taken for granted or simply ignored.
However, a Romney presidency would re-establish the U.K. as a first-tier policy priority. Once again, America’s default position would be having Britain’s back.
Patrick Basham directs the Democracy Institute, a London- and Washington-based think tank, and is a Cato Institute adjunct scholar.