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Warren vs Sanders


@TheHipsterRebbe: If you support Warren over Sanders, that’s fine. 
If you are also an advocate of a reduced military (demilitarization/anti imperialism/etc) in some form and also pro-Palestinian rights, you’re going to have to square that circle in some way.

From ‘The Best Argument for Bernie Sanders Is His Democratic Globalism’ by Eric Levitz:

Warren’s background as a Republican-voting technocrat hasn’t stopped her from mobilizing populist anger at creeping plutocracy. But it did prevent her from assembling a decades-long record of decrying American imperialism, and defending left-wing governments the world over. Sanders’s socialist background, on the other hand, led him to do precisely this. And while that record of international leftist solidarity could be a liability with the American electorate, it’s a singular asset within the global left — and in an era when the survival of decent civilization likely depends on building a powerful, transnational left-wing movement, that is no small asset.

Sanders does not owe this international reverence solely to his advocacy for the global left as a young (or, more precisely, less old) activist. The Vermonter may have been conspicuously reluctant to discuss foreign policy in 2016. But this time around, he’s offered a clearer vision for what a progressive geopolitical agenda should look like than any of his competitors. With the help of his foreign-policy adviser, the one-time left-wing foreign affairs blogger Matt Duss, Sanders has woven the Trump-Russia scandal — and the president’s broader affinity for foreign dictators — into a tale about the global struggle between the forces of democracy and the “authoritarian axis.” Plutocrats the world over are using their wealth — and the retrograde politics of right-wing nationalism — to insulate their privilege from the threat of genuine democracy, no matter the dire consequences for the poor, vulnerable minority groups, or even the planet’s survival. Elizabeth Warren has struck similar notes in her public remarks on foreign policy. But Sanders has matched his lofty rhetoric with boldly progressive stances on concrete geopolitical issues to a degree that Warren has not. Sanders has established himself as the Senate’s most passionate defender of Palestinian rights (admittedly, a title somewhat akin to “the world’s largest chihuahua”), led the opposition to U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen (and has called for a broader rethinking of the U.S.-Saudi alliance), voted against increasing the Pentagon’s budget (Warren voted for it), and announced the formation of a “Progressive International” with radical Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis.

To be sure, Sanders’s foreign policy vision is still inchoate. On the critical questions of how the U.S. should navigate its relationship with a rising China, how it should seek to reorganize global trade and investment in a progressive direction, how it should balance its domestic interests with its obligations to developing countries — and, above all, how it should deploy its economic and diplomatic power to combat climate change — the senator has offered few details. And the utter lack of a left-wing foreign-policy infrastructure in the U.S. could make ironing out such details a difficult (and potentially, ideologically compromising) process.

Nevertheless, through his actions in the Senate and his alliance-building abroad, Sanders has established his commitment to viewing progressive change through an international lens, and his interest in using the powers of the presidency to advance such change on the global level. For the moment, Warren has not. And considering that the next Democratic president will have far more unilateral authority over foreign affairs than domestic policy, this is no minor distinction.

Ultimately, Sanders’s substantive advantage on foreign policy may be less important than his decisive edge in the crasser matter of fundraising. Right now, there is one populist Democratic candidate who has the financial means to sustain an extended campaign, and it is not the senator from Massachusetts. But when and if Warren grows the ranks of her small-dollar army (and/or beats back the “electability” concerns that are suppressing her support), her next priority should be to direct her technocratic talents to the global sphere. It’s fine and good to amass a large pile of bold, imaginative legislative proposals that the next Democratic president will never be able to pass. But it would also be productive for Warren to put together a foreign-policy agenda that her administration wouldn’t need Joe Manchin’s permission to pursue. Bernie Sanders may be the race’s only democratic socialist — but he doesn’t have to be its only democratic globalist.

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