Barack the vote Colorado

Feb 042008
Authors: Mary Ackerson

Foreign policy is the most important issue facing the future president of the United States, and Barack Obama is the only candidate whose policy scope includes all of humanity.

In the new era of globalization, there is a dire need for a new quality of president in the United States.

More than a leader capable of making wise decisions regarding national issues such as abortion, immigration or gay marriage, we need a great leader capable of effectively engaging in diplomatic communication with other countries to tackle global concerns such as the environment, nuclear weapons, poverty, terrorism and human rights.

The ability to engage in global diplomacy requires knowledge, understanding, humility and courage exceeding the level required to merely lead a nation.

Foreign policy should focus on what’s best for every nation, not merely to advance our nation’s interests. Technology has made it possible to not only be constantly informed of worldwide problems, but to be actively involved in the solutions to these problems. In today’s world, a state’s main concern can be, and thus needs to be, the good of all of humanity.

Thus, it is essential that the future leader of our country have a genuine concern for all of humanity.

A series of articles published by the Council on Foreign Relations, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose members include nearly all present/past prominent U.S. government officials, previewed the presidential candidates’ foreign policy agendas.

Obama clearly stands out as the only candidate who is willing to truly look beyond the self-interest of the United States in conducting foreign policy.

He acknowledged that “there are compelling moral reasons and compelling security reasons for renewed American leadership that recognizes the inherent equality and worth of all people” and pledged to “strengthen our common security by investing in our common humanity.”

When he discusses calling for reformation of injustice and corruption in societies, he said, “I will do so not in the spirit of a patron but in the spirit of a partner — a partner mindful of his own imperfections.”

In their agendas, Clinton and McCain attempt to operate under the guise of pursuing a global good, while naively assuming that what will make things better for the United States will make the world better off.

In a gross misuse of the word diplomacy, McCain said, “We must also revitalize our public diplomacy … I will work with Congress to create a new independent agency with the sole purpose of getting America’s message to the world.”

Clinton was similarly paradoxical. “True statesmanship requires that we engage with our adversaries, not for the sake of talking but because robust diplomacy is a prerequisite to achieving our aims,” she said, continuing “I will rebuild our power and ensure that the United States is committed to building a world we want, rather than simply defending against a world we fear.”

Since I first started watching Obama on CSPAN last spring, I have sensed his genuine concern for, and capacity to do well by, all of humanity, a conviction that has only been reinforced after reading his foreign policy agenda compared to the other canidates’ and after hearing him speak in person.

In every speech he reveals his understanding of the importance of communicating with other countries’ leaders rather than ignoring them.

He realizes the importance of truth and telling Americans not what they want to hear, but what they need to know. He also understands that what matters is not uniting the Republicans or Democrats, but “uniting this country around a movement for change.”

The United States of America and the world are in desperate need of new leadership, and Barack Obama is this leader.

A reminder to the Democrats of Colorado: your caucus takes place today, and your vote can make a difference in electing the future president of the United States.

Mary Ackerson is a senior political science major. Her column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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