A First Amendment Foreign Policy

Introduction

Even though I write largely about American domestic policy, I think a lot about foreign policy. Those who follow my blog know I have lately been reading a lot about America’s terrible history in Latin America. Facing that terrible history and thinking about Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and more, has led me to feel confident in sharing what I hope is a new, interesting foreign policy idea.

Since I’m not a politician in practice or mindset, I’m not going to mislead. The truth is I have no idea of all the consequences of what I’m proposing. Nor can I guarantee some of the possible consequences wouldn’t result in outcomes I would hate. Still, I’m proposing this idea because we need something different. We need something that gets us closer to living up to our founding ideals. We need something that rejects exceptionalism and imperialism in favor of respect and openness. We need an approach to other nations that understands foreign policy based on military might and massive amounts of cash, especially when that might and cash was too often created by exploitation and is too often used to exploit–is wrong. We need the humility to admit we don’t have all the answers. We need the confidence to acknowledge we have much to learn from others. And, we need the character to stick to our principals when immediate results challenge our idea that we know best.

If our ideas are the best, we shouldn’t be afraid to work with those who think differently. If our ideals really are the most just, we shouldn’t be afraid of ideals we don’t support. If our system of government really is the envy of the world, we shouldn’t have to force people to adopt it.

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Consequences for Politicising our Lives

I need to make one thing clear: no one’s health insurance is in immediate jeopardy. Still, the Affordable Care Act is now facing its biggest threat. The possibility that 20 million insured Americans will lose their coverage is now real. There is a chance those with preexisting conditions will no longer have the opportunity to purchase coverage. Children under the age of 26 currently getting insurance from their parents’s policy could soon be uninsured.

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America needs National Voting Standards

I’m writing this about an hour after we learned three Florida races are headed for recounts and the same may happen in the contest for Georgia’s governor. All of this is happening against the backdrop of a midterm that saw the highest voter turnout of any midterm election since 1970–in spite of the GOPS voter suppression efforts.

The last five days have reminded us of the massive problems with our election system and the ways politicians game that system for their advantage. Below are several ideas that would dramatically improve the fairness of our elections. If enacted, they would go a long way to guarantee that every American can vote and trust their vote will be counted. That means if we don’t demand these changes, politicians will never consider them.

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Abortion and the Second Amendment

Sadly, the big story of the day is yet another mass shooting. As I write, we know a 46-year-old white man (I won’t write his name) with a long history of antisemitic posting online shot at least 12 people in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue.Currently, reports are saying four of the 12 victims have died. Six victims are injured. Four of the injured are police officers. Two of the injured are dealing with serious injuries. Obviously, this is a fluid situation. What we know will update and change.

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America’s Political System is Failing

Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been given a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, I want to address the route of the problem destroying America. The route of the problem isn’t political polarization (as many say). The route of the problem is the failing of our system of government. The reality is that an ever-shrinking minority has an ever-increasing control over our politics. While Republicans claim Democrats wat mob rule, the truth is that America is being run by a distinct minority that regularly enacts laws disfavored by a majority of the American people.

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