Washington – On Thursday, Wyoming Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) delivered remarks at the 2019 International Democrat Union (IDU) Forum Dinner on America’s role in the world and our nation’s foreign policy.
Formed in 1983 by founding members that included Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and then United States Vice-President George Bush, the IDU provides a forum in which parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organizational interest, so that they can learn from each other, act together, establish contacts and speak with one strong voice to promote democracy and center-right policies around the globe. For videos and transcript excerpts of Rep. Cheney’s remarks at the forum’s dinner Thursday evening, please see below:
REP. LIZ CHENEY:I looked back at the founding of the IDU as I was getting ready for tonight and looking at what particularly Prime Minister Thatcher had to say when she first launched the organization with Frank and then-Vice President Bush, and she made a point that I think is crucial for all of us to remember, and it’s the idea of sort of the fundamental paradox of our freedom. And that paradox is that freedom, the freedom of mankind, individual freedom and liberty, is simultaneously an indomitable force, simultaneously a force that nothing else can destroy, nothing else can defeat, and at the same time, incredibly fragile. And I’ll tell you what I mean. It is an idea that for me has really become real in the time that I’ve served in the House of Representatives.
I’m in my third year now in the House of Representatives and the United States of America obviously has long been a very powerful nation, an important nation, a nation that has led in so many ways, and so when you look at our governing institutions from the outside, I think we have a tendency to think that they will always be there, that we will always enjoy this freedom, that we will always enjoy this strength, that we will always be in a position where we can help our allies, where we can work with our allies to guarantee freedom for millions around the world. But what you realize, and I think this is particularly true at the moment that we’re living through now, is that that freedom is absolutely not self-sustaining and that that freedom is something that each one of us, you in your own countries, those of you who are Americans who are here, each one of us as elected officials, as representatives of our parties, as participants in the political process must work every day to defend.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: I think that the threats we face today are certainly as significant and perhaps even more grave than those that the free world faced in 1983 when the IDU was founded. And I say that because looking at it from the perspective of the United States we face threats both externally–the threats that we all face, those of us who love freedom, the threats that we face from a rising China, the threats that we face from Russia, the threats that we face from Iran, from North Korea, from radical Islamic terrorism.
And at the same time, we face a political threat. And that political threat is once again to see the rise of socialism. And here in the United States, the rise of socialist ideas, they have taken hold in a way that we have not seen before in modern history. And it is partly because we have come so far from where we were when the wall came down. When the wall came down, we all believed that the argument was won.
REP. LIZ CHENEY: When you see our Constitution, which based obviously on the tremendous history that we took from Britain, the tremendous history of liberal political thought all across Europe–when you see the Constitution, the first three words in that founding document of ours are the largest words, they are the very largest words on the document, and those are the words, “We the People.” And those are the largest words because they are so fundamentally important and because they should remind us as Americans, they should remind everyone who fights for freedom, everyone around the world that we work with, that we fight for, that we stand with, that at the end of the day it is only the people who can make a difference.
Margaret Thatcher said that the forces of freedom can never be trampled, can never be extinguished by the tanks of tyranny. And what the IDU is doing is reminding people that we have a network, that we have friends, that we have support all around the world and that the forces of freedom will never step aside, will never be willing to accept domination by those who don’t believe in freedom, domination by those who don’t believe in individual liberties and rights. And I can tell you as an American, I can tell you as a member of our House of Representatives how proud I am to be able to be part of thanking you for what you do and I am very honored to be able to give you my assurance that the United States of America will always stand for freedom, will always stand for those who are fighting for their freedom.