It is ridiculous…to talk of “fighting for democracy” in Indo-China when the people we support there are not democrats at all and cannot be, in the light of history and the present condition of Indo-China. We owe ourselves and the world candor. We are not struggling to establish universal “democracy” or “capitalism” or “human rights.” Our mission in the affairs of nations is not to undertake an eccentric crusade on behalf of these abstractions, but rather the practical task of repelling the menace of Soviet imperialism, and of conserving the freedom and justice and strength of the United States. Most of us are not really so arrogant as to think we have a right to remould the world in our image. The best we can do, toward redeeming the states of Europe and Asia from the menace of revolution and the distresses of our time, is to realize our own conservative character, suspicious of doctrinaire alteration, respectful toward history, preferring variety over uniformity, acknowledging a moral order composed of human persons, not of mere political and economic atoms subservient to the state. We have not been appointed the correctors of mankind; but, under God, we may be an example to mankind. (Program for Conservatives, 1954)
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