Tag Archives: American politics

From Abroad: American Political Parties Seem Alike

In an editorial appearing in the Korea Herald, the editor slams American politics as essentially having agreement among those running for the presidency as to future foreign policy. They all come across as favoring democracy, being against terrorism, wanting at least some American troops remaining in Iraq, promise to protect Israel against Iran or the Palestinians, and want peace. The editor comments: “The problem in American foreign policy is that an ideological orthodoxy has emerged within the intellectual and political community concerned with foreign relations, and this orthodoxy now is imposed upon everyone who wishes to shape national policy at the Washington political and media level. The important debate that takes place in America on Sunday mornings on television or in the national press, and in the Congress is really a knockabout vaudeville performance without serious content on both sides, in essential respects, they are on the same side. If you listen to it from abroad, it is unrecognizable because it is totally inwardly directed and does not touch external reality, as seen, felt, and suffered elsewhere.”

The editorial is written by William Pfaff, a noted political correspondent. He raises issues as to whether or not those running for the presidency have at all considered how what they say is interpreted elsewhere in the world. They talk for sound bites appearing on the six o’clock news or for a particular interest group. Perhaps, this explains the failure on the part of any candidate to articulate a new approach to foreign policy.