The Ripon Forum

Volume 43, No. 3

Summer 2009 Issue

In This Edition

By on December 3, 2015

It’s been said that politics is like a pendulum because it swings between two extremes. Over the past eight months or so in Washington, we have certainly seen that to be the case.

Take foreign policy. If foreign policy in the Bush Administration was marked by a fierce determination to safeguard American lives and interests regardless of what other nations thought, the early months of the Obama Administration have revealed a clear willingness to consider other nations’ interests alongside our own.

But as this summer has shown, diplomacy has its limits. From the protests in Iran to the unrest in Honduras, events have transpired that no amount of talking could have stopped. And so we are left with the question – what should the United States do now? To help us answer this question, we feature essays by two leading voices in each of their respective fields.

From academia, professor and Iranian-American activist Elham Gheytanchi discusses the protests in her native land and how they are being led by the brave women of that country who have long been oppressed. From the arena of policy and politics, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, writes about the slide toward tyranny in Latin America and her belief that the U.S. government needs to take a stronger stand in support of freedom.

This edition of The Ripon Forum also features a little-noticed speech that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently gave at the Reagan Library. In it, she not only lays out a strong case for “Why Democracy Matters,” but also explains, in a question and answer session afterward, why she believes the current Iranian regime is nothing more than a “hollow shell.”

The European Union’s distinguished Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable John Bruton, provides an excellent assessment of the EU-U.S partnership, while David Satter of the Hudson Institute looks at the President’s recent trip to Russia and what it did – and, more specifically, did not – accomplish. Also, in a pair of essays, Josette Sheeran of the World Food Program and Carolyn Crowley Meub of the non-profit Pure Water for the World look at the formidable challenges facing each – global food shortages, and the lack of clean drinking water around the world.

On the domestic front, this edition of the Forum also features Congressman Frank Wolf writing about entitlement reform and Senator Mel Martinez writing about TARP transparency. Former Governor and Cabinet Secretary Christine Todd Whitman pens a timely essay on why President Obama is hemorrhaging support in the political center, while Republican pollster Christine Matthews writes an equally important piece about minivan Moms and why Republicans need their support.

As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of The Ripon Forum and encourage you to contact us at with any thoughts or ideas you may have.

Lou Zickar
The Ripon Forum

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