After watching Tuesday’s town hall debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, we at the Loquitur were left with a lot of unanswered questions. The candidates danced around a number of foreign policy issues, focusing instead on military might and the deficit.
Not exactly an insight into where they’ll lead America diplomatically.
An unsettling minority of American voters was represented through the Q-and-A-style debate: the 5 to 10 percent who make up the undecided voter pool. A great demographic for the candidates to target on the election front – but how well informed are they? Should they really have been the ones asking the questions?
More importantly, are they an accurate representation of the viewers at home?
We aren’t buying that they are. As journalists, but also as informed citizens, we’re convinced that those who are still undecided just haven’t been paying any mind to the upcoming election. Many voters have their minds made up one way or the other by this point. Are undecided voters just lazy?
In a world where the Internet is at your fingertips, where it’s possible to get an in-depth analysis of each platform (and the lesser-known parties in-between), what’s the excuse for indecision? Did your dog eat your Ethernet cord?
Accurate voter representation aside, however, what was missing on Tuesday night was a long-term foreign policy discussion. A lot of talk, like we mentioned, was centered on our “military might” – not diplomacy, and certainly not development.
Our military is massive as it is. What about a long-term commitment to the countries where we’re not rebuilding after war, to countries that have started to make progress and need a boost to move up the ladder of human development?
This would also be a commitment to strengthening our own national security, to expanding the very idea of it to something bigger, fuller.
We at the Loquitur believe that, in order to ensure our nation’s security, we must make these commitments and partner with the governments of other nations. We must begin an international dialogue.
If anything, we have to look to the European Union on how to collaborate properly, even out of self-interest. The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on maintain peace throughout Europe – a highly divided and war-torn area, historically, with national pride buttressing every nation’s border.
Even as the EU experiences a systemic debt crisis and every day remains a struggle to achieve perfect unity, they’ve maintained peace among themselves for the longest time in centuries.
As Americans, we’re not offered the same peace treaty convenience as the EU has had for over 60 years. We’re left to our own devices to foster unity, to sustain peace.
But, again, we’re Americans. We’re not scrambling to find allies – so why does our commitment to diplomatic solutions to world problems seem to be subordinate to military solutions?
We at the Loquitur believe it’s time for the U.S. to revel in the EU’s recent achievement, and to get a little competitive. We need to step up our work overseas; we need to develop more than just our military, more than our defense.
It’s time we invest in the futures of others than ourselves, and advocate for peace not just within our borders, but also throughout the world.