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Progressives' foreign policy dillemma

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  1. Kuromantis
    I personally find this to be a really important question for the democrats to answer. How do you go about fighting authoritarian governments while simultaneously decreasing US involvement abroad...

    The second theme is that both of them draw a dramatic divide between democratic and authoritarian states. In a major address at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Sanders said:

    There is currently a struggle of enormous consequence taking place in the United States and throughout the world. In it, we see two competing visions. On one hand, we see a growing worldwide movement toward authoritarianism, oligarchy, and kleptocracy. On the other side, we see a movement toward strengthening democracy, egalitarianism, and economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. This struggle has consequences for the entire future of the planet—economically, socially, and environmentally.

    Sanders went on to identify the authoritarian movement as including Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Bin Salman, and President Trump, whom Sanders sees as on the wrong side of the struggle between autocrats and democrats.

    In her Foreign Affairs essay, Warren struck a similar note:

    Authoritarian governments are gaining power, and right-wing demagogues are gaining strength. Movements toward openness and pluralism have stalled. Inequality is growing, transforming rule by the people into rule by wealthy elites. And here in the United States, many Americans seem to accept—even embrace—the politics of division and resentment.

    Warren has focused more on China than Sanders, although Sanders intends to address China more in the coming months.

    For both candidates, the democracy-versus-autocratic-oligarchs framing is a way to kill several birds with one stone. It allows them to talk about the global economy as a rigged system and to fight inequality. It is a way of getting tough with Russia and China. It allows them to stand up for democracy and human rights. Most important of all, it allows them to paint Trump as part of a global problem.

    However, democracy versus autocracy is not a radical departure from traditional Democratic foreign policy. Both Sanders and Warren essentially accept the diagnosis of more hawkish Democrats that the United States is locked in a geopolitical struggle with authoritarian regimes, but they depart significantly on the prescription—they would both slash the defense budget and switch the topic away from geopolitical rivalries and toward inequality, economic policy, and democracy. This sets up a fundamental contradiction: Sanders and Warren will be forced to choose between waging the struggle against autocrats and cutting the defense budget and deemphasizing military power.

    retrenchment means accepting that America’s rivals will acquire and expand their own spheres of influence. They don’t see it as a problem up until the point that rivals appear poised to dominate their entire region. Some progressives have come around to this idea. Writing in these pages, Peter Beinart argued that Sanders and other Democrats must accept that China is displacing the United States from part of Asia.

    I personally find this to be a really important question for the democrats to answer. How do you go about fighting authoritarian governments while simultaneously decreasing US involvement abroad and condemning authoritarian US allies (in the geopolitical sense)? The most reasonable choice by far for any US progressive to fight 'authoritarianism, oligarchy, and kleptocracy' would be to require social media platforms' owners to properly moderate/fight against (presumably conservative) dis/misinformation in their platforms and probably deplatform the people propagating it if they don't stop in order to sway public opinion to the left or at least from the right.
    The main benefit is that nearly every large tech startup is american in origin and global in reach so a progressive president can just use that to his advantage and denounce any right wing candidates' positions, statements and records in mass and worldwide and swaying public opinion against anyone looking to promote that authoritarianism/kleptocracy/oligarchy. (Or they will just do it because they're afraid of you regulating them. That happens.)

    But that has some serious risks, challenges and drawbacks. Thing is, how do you do apply that to people already immersed in said presumed falsehoods without it sticking out like a sore thumb? How do you come up with any guidelines/transparency so you aren't just altering public opinion worldwide on a whim? If people notice, then what will be stopping them from just going to some place like gab/voat, but russian so you can't regulate them? This would also only work on countries that are still democratic, since a government like the one in Saudi Arabia probably wouldn't entertain social liberalization, only switch sides and join China instead.

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