6. Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations
A Radical Centrist Vision for the Future > List of Amendments > Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations
6.1 Human Rights in Foreign Policy
The United States has the responsibility to promote democracy throughout the world. The mission of the United States is, through peaceful means, to bring democracy to all nations which are not democracies.
Explanation: Toward this end, priority in all foreign relations should always be shown to countries that have free and periodic elections in political systems that observe the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, that safeguard the rights of legitimate religious, racial, and ethnic minorities, that uphold equal or equivalent rights of women, and that have some equivalent of free speech rights granted in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
The United States shall regard any totalitarian state, including authoritarian theocracies which may feature emasculated parliaments, as enemy nations, although this does not need to mean war. What it does need to mean, at a minimum, is absence of normal trade relations and a boycott of all goods from such countries except for such items as Congress may exempt for national security reasons. This should also mean that the United States shall not enter into military alliances with such nations unless they take specific steps to democratize themselves in a reasonable period of time.
Conversely, the United States should stress the advantages to non-democratic foreign nations in becoming democratic because of the benefits this would confer on them. The objective is not conflict but conversion of non-democracies into democracies.
Either the United Nations should be reorganized such that the only full members allowed are democracies or the United States shall quit the organization and commence to create a new world body consisting of nothing but democracies. Obviously this must refer to substance; use of the word “democracy” or “republic,” or similar terms is not sufficient to make a state democratic.
Further, although this ought to be obvious, the United States shall not tolerate on its soil the presence of any agents of foreign governments which are hostile to America –especially any that can reasonably be classified as spies, but including all others except embassy staffs who do all of their work in embassy compounds. This amendment requires the US Government to break diplomatic relations with any nation found guilty of such activity for a period of no less then two years, or as many years as the Executive shall direct in excess of two years The United States understands that nations which consider themselves our enemies may have counterpart sentiments and may impose similar penalties.
The provisions of this Amendment shall be carried out in no less than 2 years from date of ratification.
6.2 International Organizations
The United States shall not belong to any international organization in which states which are not fully functional democracies have equal voting rights and privileges as democracies. This includes the United Nations or any successor organization of similar character, it includes economic organizations, and it includes judicial organizations. It may include still other organizations at the discretion of the President during his (or her) term in office.
This Amendment does not exclude membership by non-democracies when such states only have observer status or probationary status when it has plans to democratize in the reasonable future. As well, military alliances must likewise be founded on the basis of shared commitment to democracy; however, in the event of war or other emergency which threatens the nation’s existence, military alliances with non-democratic states may be entered into for limited durations, renewable on a year to year basis, which includes agreement by relevant committees of the House and Senate, sworn to secrecy on pain of legal proceedings for treason brought against anyone who knowingly passes on highest possible secrecy classification information to others.
The definition of “democracy” shall not be arbitrary, nor related words such as “republic,” and shall include as vital characteristics the major features of American democracy while, at the same time, being broad enough to include parliamentary systems in which there is no higher authority than a leading elected official. That is, legislatures which are “rubber stamps” for monarchs or military dictators or unelected party chiefs or religious authorities or anything of similar nature, do not qualify as actual democracies.
Upon ratification of this Amendment the United States shall either quit any organization it belongs to which negative criteria described here apply, or have iron-clad assurances that non-democracies shell transition to democratic status in a period not to exceed five years. In cases where a holdout nation lags behind this time limitation, a waiver for no more than two years may be granted by the Congress for continued American participation upon a 2/3rds vote in both Houses.
6.3 Qualifications for Ambassadors
Any man or woman appointed to the post of Ambassador to a foreign country shall have fluency in that nation’s language and an appropriate professional background for the position. It is the also responsibility of the President to carefully choose as Ambassadors men or women who can best address, as the case may be, a foreign liberal or conservative, dictator or monarch, religious believer or non-believer.
No appointments shall be allowed which are made essentially on the basis of campaign contributions, service to a political party, or anything else which is extraneous to the purpose of representing the United States to best possible effect in its relationships with another country.
Explanation: Priority for the post of Ambassador shall be given to persons with foreign policy service, or who have considerable business experience overseas in the country in question, or who have educational concentrations in such areas as the history of that country, or its economy, or its social system and politics. In cases a former military officer might be the best choice, a former legislator, a former judge with experience in international law, or a professional of status with relevant experience in an NGO.
While nominations for positions of Ambassador shall always rest with the President. as a courtesy he (or possibly she) should be willing to take into consideration as many as one recommendation for an ambassadorial post from each Senator even if, as a practical matter, it is expected that only a limited number will actually be forwarded to his office. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that no highly qualified professional is overlooked and so that such people, at a minimum, receive well deserved recognition.
The only exceptions to the language requirement shall be for posts in English-speaking countries, or countries where English is nonetheless very common, such as the Philippines, India, Israel, Singapore, and Vatican State.
6.4 New States
From time to time, existing states in the American Union may need to be reorganized so that excessive political power does not accumulate in some one state of commonwealth.
Furthermore, American democracy is never limited to existing American states: It always presumes that new states may be added to the Union in the future. This may be accomplished in several ways and in some circumstances it should be a requirement. This Amendment describes the conditions that govern adding states to the nation.
Upper Population Percentage Limit When any state shall exceed 10 % of the population of the United States it shall be divided into two states, with the option of the original state to divide itself into more than two states. After a census determines that a state has reached more than 10 % of the national population it is the obligation of its legislature to make all necessary preparations for division into two (or more) new states. The actual division shall take place before the next census.
Conversely, even if it may be unrealistic to think this will happen any time in the foreseeable future, existing low population states may wish to merge with another state. This Amendment allows for such a contingency.
Place Names shall not be confusing New states may be called, for example, North California and South California, but, to cite a true case from history, southern California shall not be named New Colorado. This is not hypothetical, there once was a proposal to create a southern California state to be named “Colorado” even though, at the time, there was such a territorial designation. Originality in naming is not a requirement but is hereby encouraged, with preference for Native American place names. This provision also requires the state of Washington to choose a new name for itself within a period not to exceed 10 years.
Foreign Nations Seeking Statehood Foreign nations may petition for admission to the United States. Upon Congressional approval, a foreign nation shall be divided into territories, if the nation exceeds 10 % of existing US population, as determined by its own legislature. Each territory shall be expected to comply with American Law within 2 years of admission as a territory, awaiting final approval for statehood. Conditions for admission as a state include any necessary reconstruction of the local economy such that it is compatible with the larger America economy, and likewise for the educational system, infrastructure, and, obviously, American Law and governance. It shall be understood that, while not all non-English speakers will be able to learn English within a given time period, that English shall be taught in the schools to all students, and that the media will set out on a program to educate the population to English.
After a period of not less than 10 years as a territory, sufficient for a territory to begin a thorough transition to American ways of doing things, and only upon Congressional review that this process is sufficiently advanced for the purpose, the House and Senate may vote to admit a former foreign-nation territory to statehood. Any decision of this kind shall be made territory by territory and on a case-by-case basis.
Any territory will retain that status for as long as it may take for Congress to be satisfied that it has met statehood admission requirements. It must be understood that once admitted to the Union as a state there is no turning back. America will defend any and all of its states as integral to the nation, but expects unswerving loyalty in return. It assumes complete willingness on the part of new residents seeking citizenship to become Americans in every feasible sense, especially in terms of patriotism.
Admission to the Union brings many benefits, hence the fact that the United States has consistently acted as a magnet for the foreign born for many generations. But such people must understand that they need to assimilate to America and must never think that they can retain any “old customs” which operate at cross purposes to America’s core values and essential ways of doing things.
Also assumed is that current American businesses will have complete freedom to open branches or offices or other operations in new territories, as shall businesses from those areas have freedom to operate within the United States proper. The Federal Government shall, as a matter of course, open offices and other facilities in new territories as it sees fit as necessary to expedite integration into the American system, and nation and shall enforce all American laws, and protect all rights for citizens as well as would-be citizens.
In granting admission to the Union on a provisional (territorial) basis to foreign nations, the Congress shall make every effort to maintain some approximation to the current population distribution in America. That is, should the Philippines and Taiwan and Micronesia seek statehood as some number of new states, a population of mostly Asians, balance should be sought by adding a population of European-descent, for example, admitting Russia as a number of new territories, admitting black nations like Liberia, Haiti, and Sierra Leone, and admitting Hispanic nations such as Panama and the Central American republics. Again, this is more than hypothetical since, in the 19th century, the republics of Central America did seek to be incorporated into the United States, and the various island of Micronesia, until well into the 1960s, also sought admission.
This set of examples is dramatic for a purpose, to illustrate a long term process. For any given year there may be no requests for admission to the Union and the most that may be expected might be a scenario such that Cyprus seeks admission one year, several years later it is Okinawa, and several years still later it is Costa Rico and Senegal.
Other Considerations Strategic thinking should guide the Congress in its decision making. This includes actively soliciting other nations to see if they might like to become part of the United States. On the short list surely would be Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Greenland. Such strategic thought should, of course, include such things as unofficial exploratory meetings, necessary scholarly research, and consultation with opposition leaders in such foreign lands, not only with current holders of political power.
Unrealistic expectations should never be fueled, not should this plan be advertised as a panacea for anything. It is simply an option which offers the united State new choices in foreign relations. Even if the number of new territories is small, or even if it remains moot for many years, it adds a new dimension to American foreign policy.
A Radical Centrist Vision for the Future > List of Amendments > Economics, Trade and Business (next)