This is the first edition of November Revolution, a monthly column from Pam Campos-Palma on foreign policy in the 2020 election.
By Pam Campos-Palma
In 2016, a right wing populist celebrity billionaire whom the establishment treated as a joke won his first election, in large part by treating themes of defense and security as a “bread and butter issue.” Four years later, it’s election time again. The United States has endured political trauma, asymmetrical polarization, and a corrupt, nationalist incumbent who has aggressively executed his neo-fascist agenda in the intervening years, but the centrality of foreign policy to President Trump’s message hasn’t changed.
A president’s powers are least constrained in areas of international affairs and security, and Trump has used that flexibility to deliver on some of his most chilling campaign promises. He has exonerated war criminals, pencil-whipped an entire new military branch, instituted multiple and repeated discriminatory bans of entire classes of people based on their identities, gutted the State Department, ramped up for war with Iran– and the list goes on. In this consequential election, foreign policy will play an outsized role, and Democrats must assert a bold vision that contests Trump’s jingoistic, nationalist agenda and rejects the corporate, war hawk status quo of the past.