November Revolution: In Formation for Real Change or Get Out of the Way

By Pam Campos-Palma

On May 25th, millions witnessed the extrajudicial killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, triggering uprisings across the country that were met with an eruption of even more brutalizing police violence. Watching the systematic violence carried out against protesters made me feel like I was once again watching the coordinated, complex terrorist attacks the military trained me to analyze — only this time I was watching it being carried out by local police against citizens and journalists. The mobilization of the National Guard, then President Trump’s abuse of the military and his threats to unleash America’s troops against their fellow citizens has had me in the most intense organizing sprint of my life. Between responding to messages from concerned active duty and National Guard troops in fear, organizing the military and veteran community at large, partnering with the Movement for Black Lives, tracking and analyzing ethno-nationalist threats, and continuing to engage with national security/foreign policy colleagues, the last month has been life-changing and surreal. I hope to find some time to write more about it but for now I’ll be catching back up where I left off. 

In the midst of this revolutionary moment, there is a very strange disconnect between the wave of political energy unleashed by the hurricane of multiple, simultaneous crises the US currently faces and the tepid, inert feeling surrounding the presidential election. At a time when a mass popular movement and grassroots mutual aid networks are setting the pace for resistance to rising anti-democratic, white supremacist forces, the Biden campaign has not come close to matching the energy in the streets. 

Continue reading “November Revolution: In Formation for Real Change or Get Out of the Way”

November Revolution: Win Or Lose, We Need A Real Coalition

By Pam Campos-Palma

In the past few weeks, I have had more flashbacks to my days in the military than at any other time since stepping out of uniform four years ago. The military wired me to make battlefield predictions in uncertain situations, and that training feels eerily activated today. Between living a stone’s throw away from New York City – the current epicenter of COVID-19 in the US; getting texts from my mom who works in a hospital emergency room; and seeing politicians react to the mounting death toll with a mixture of dangerous buffoonery and vicious xenophobia, I find myself thinking constantly about our society’s many vulnerabilities. I’m also thinking a lot about the normalization of death, a disturbing aspect of our current phase of the crisis.  At this deeply turbulent moment, I worry that the absence of a strategic alignment between progressive grassroots movement and the Democratic party establishment will leave the survival of our democracy in a fragile balance.    Continue reading “November Revolution: Win Or Lose, We Need A Real Coalition”

November Revolution: A Global Pandemic Proves We Need Revolution for Results

By Pam Campos-Palma

In less than one month, the Democratic presidential field and our global security have simultaneously collapsed in what feels like an eerie manifestation of our political realities in the United States. We’re now down to two candidates for the Democratic nomination who could not be more different in their political visions and approach, and we face a growing pandemic that is forcing everyone to confront how interconnected we are across borders and how dangerous the systemic failures progressives have long been decrying really are. Progressive foreign and security policies are often falsely portrayed as distinct from traditional approaches only in overall philosophy, but COVID-19 offers a broad-based and alarming example of the vast differences between the two in nitty-gritty, ground-level policy implementation.

In this crisis, progressive approaches seek to care for people first at every opportunity, while traditional approaches focus first on preserving the broken structures that endangered us in the first place.

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November Revolution: A People’s Foreign Policy Will Win in 2020

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. 

Continue reading “November Revolution: A People’s Foreign Policy Will Win in 2020”