The Claremont Institute presented its Statesmanship Award this year to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this past Saturday evening at the institute’s 40th Anniversary Gala. Secretary Pompeo’s speech is wonderfully enjoyable, funny, biting, and straightforward in its defense of Trump administration foreign policy. The text of the speech is posted under the title “A foreign policy from the founding” at the institute’s American Mind site and here at the State Department site. The video is below.
The speech is difficult to excerpt. You will want to get into the flow and enjoy the whole thing, although I love this flagrantly unObama-like passage:
We have reaffirmed America’s historic alliance with the only free nation in the Middle East: Israel. (Cheers and applause.)
We are banding together with the likeminded nations like Australia, India, Japan, and South Korea to make sure that each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion. It’s part of a greater commitment to a free and open order. You all know this: The distinctive mark of Western Civilization is the belief in the inherent worth of human beings, with the attendant respect for God-authored rights and liberties. Indeed, the Declaration says that “all men are created equal.” And we ought to help nations protect these first things – and human rights as well.
This new pride in taking America’s interests seriously is not just an American phenomenon. Countries all over the world are rediscovering their national identities, and we are supporting them. We’re asking them to do what’s best for their people as well. The wave of electoral surprises has swept from Britain to the United States and all the way to Brazil.
You’ve all heard the famous line, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the United States.” (Laughter.) I actually think the last administration would have said, “What’s good for the world is good for the United States.” Our focus is that, “What’s good for the United States – a foreign policy animated by love of our unique way of life – is good for the world.” (Applause.)
Raheem Kassam isolates a few elements of the speech in his Human Events note on it. I encourage you to take in the whole thing.
Quotable quote: “[J]ust this past trip to Hanoi came across a major threshold. I had spent more time with Chairman Kim than even Dennis Rodman. (Laughter and applause.)”