Like a lot of Americans, we watched the last two nights of the Democratic debates closely.
As anyone who has been paying attention for the last two years knows, our country is in a deep crisis, facing historic challenges both domestic and foreign. We wanted to see what kind of leadership, policy options, and energy this diverse group of 20 contenders would bring to the table.
We were pleased that over two nights many of what we at Global Exchange think are the most important issues facing our country and world came to the fore — climate catastrophe, the mistreatment of immigrants, and the need to end U.S. wars and foreign interventions all got serious attention and significant air time.
It’s clear our movements have been successful in setting a more progressive agenda in recent years. Your voice has been critical to this momentum, but things are just getting underway and we need to keep pushing to assure that the conversations go deeper.
Passion for change and resolve to oppose the Trump Administration were evident among what is surely the most diverse group of candidates to ever seek a presidential nomination. The Democrats on the debate stage included six women, two African Americans, two Asian-Pacific Islanders, a Latino, an openly gay man, three Jewish people, and ten white men. They are young, old, and; it seems, a lot of them are eager to demonstrate their Spanish skills.
We heard a lot of great ideas from this diverse field, but the reality is only one will emerge as the Democratic candidate. It’s not up to Global Exchange to decide who’s the best of the bunch.
Our job is to put forward a 2020 Global Vision that ensures international issues (like addressing the climate crisis, advancing an urgent and humane immigration agenda, de-escalating tensions with Iran, normalizing relations with Cuba, respecting the sovereignty of Venezuela) are at the center of discussion before and after the 2020 elections.
We are glad to see that, together, we are influencing the debate.
- We heard denunciations of the Trump/Bolton warmongering towards Iran and proposals for peace that are similar to positions Global Exchange advocates. Please help us keep up that pressure. (Bernie Sanders was the only candidate to call for cutting U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.)
- We heard serious proposals on immigration — like ending the horrors of child incarceration by ceasing to criminalize migrants who simply cross our border. You have been helping us fight against these outrages. Please sign our no more deaths in detention petition, if you haven’t yet had the chance. We are also glad that finally the economic displacement and violence at the roots of Central American and Mexican migration are being addressed directly.
- We heard concerns about the weaponization of trade policy and rejection of the bad NAFTA 2.0 that the Trump Administration is still trying to push through congress.
- And while it did not get addressed in depth, the issue of guns being smuggled from the US to Mexico was mentioned by New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand.
Global Exchange has always supported our members and allies to be engaged and active in putting human rights and justice at the center of our national and international agendas. Like in 2018, we are looking to help spur massive civic mobilization. It is our only viable response to the power of money in politics and the moral crisis, the deepening rot of corruption, and resulting bad government it produces.
We will be doing our best to track candidate positions on key issues and keep you in the loop. We are going to need your help to continue pushing the candidates on issues that have not yet emerged in the debates, like: what will they do about restoring normal relations with Cuba? Will they pledge not to intervene in Venezuela? What will they do to promote peace in the Middle East? What do candidates really mean when they speak of “comprehensive immigration reform”?
In the coming weeks, we will be sending all the candidates a series of questions addressing challenging migration and foreign policy questions. Help us make sure that as many of them as possible answer the questions — either directly to our questionnaire or in response to YOUR questions at public events.
Please tell us what international policy questions you want candidates to answer — and flag the answers that you felt did or didn’t measure up in this first round of debates. You can leave them in the comment section of our Facebook page or Tweet us. Or if you’d rather, just email us at: 2020globalvision@
Thanks for being engaged and active. This thing is just getting started, and we will all need a lot of stamina and support to get where we need to be by November 3, 2020. We’ll get there with you.
P.S. Global Exchange is a 501c3 non-profit organization and will not make candidate endorsements or work with parties or political campaigns.