When Jimmy Carter became president in 1977, he changed the emphasis of American
When Jimmy Carter became president in 1977, he changed the emphasis of American foreign policy from the management of the Cold War to the promotion of human rights, the protection of people's basic freedoms and needs. Carter's policies targeted the dictators that the United States had relied upon to contain communism. Although alliances with some leaders and regimes may be beneficial for some goals (like containing the spread of communism, improving trade, securing oil, etc.), those same leaders and regimes may commit horrendous human rights violations. On a scale of 1 (totally unimportant) to 10 (extremely important), to what degree should our foreign policy emphasize human rights? Should we make alliances that benefit trade, secure oil, allow strategic placement of military bases, etc. with leaders or regimes that violate the human rights of their citizens? Are some human rights violations more allowable in an ally than others?

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