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Another stab at why foreign policy is irrelevant

A while back I made a semi-articulate effort to explaining why I think foreign policy, far from being the main issue in this election, is actually something of a nullity.

Fortunately, Jonathan Rauch has a piece at that states the argument a little better. A gander:

Bush’s “forward strategy of freedom” is a sound and overdue policy change. Kerry is not as outspoken about it, but he won’t abandon it, if only because the old policy of supporting Arab tyrannies is a self-evident failure. For his part, Bush has pretty much run out of countries to democratize by force, and out of troops to do it with. Bush sees democratization in the Arab world as the work of decades, not years, and he is right. So the difference is mainly one of emphasis. Regardless of who is elected, democratization will remainas it long has beena polestar of U.S. foreign policy, and it will also remain slow going.

Check it out.

Not that this argument, if you buy it, makes the choice between these numbskulls any easier. If you tilt right domestically, you’ll still vote for Bush. If you tilt left, you’ll vote for Kerry. If, like me, you are some schizoid combination of right and left, you’ll just have to make a gut decision. (Me: Kerry.)

But it’s an argument worth noting if you find yourself in a terrorist panic on November 2: just calm down and make a rational choice on domestic policy.

  1. Andy D says:

    Well what about healthcare? That is probably the biggest issue for me, meaning reform, meaning government deregulation and a pardigm shift in the way insurance is managed. Bush hasn’t come out for that position, but Kerry has stated the complete opposing. The world doesn’t need any more socialism, any one with a brain can figure out why it doesn’t work. Kerry just doesn’t care other than to gain votes.

  2. Olly says:


    The focus on foreign policy was something that frustrated me during the debates. (As anyone sitting in the same bar will recall.) As part of a referendum on the current administration, of course, it had to come up a lot… but in terms of the future, virtually all of the points raised were moot.

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