People-Centered Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy in D.C. too often means costly and misguided wars, selling billions of dollars worth in weapons to other nations, and disrupting other nations’ democracies. Interjecting ourselves into the business of other governments, especially those that pose no danger to our citizens, has led to war, mass displacement, corruption, and general misery for millions of often poor and already under-served peoples. As a nation of wealth and caring, we must end the cycle of forever wars. To do this, we must:
End the US policy of being the world’s arms dealer. The world is at war, and ⅓ of the weapons being used have unfortunately come from the U.S. The Saudi Arabian government is attempting a genocide on the people of Yemen with the weapons we sold them, and weapons we sold to rebel forces in the Middle East are now the same weapons that ISIS uses to terrorize civilians. We must end the ever-escalating cycle of arming the world and fomenting violence, then using that violence as a reason to increase military funding and weapons manufacturing and sales.
Invest in diplomacy over violence. Although a military response may sometimes be necessary, it should be a last resort, not a first reaction.The United States has spent the last century acting as the World’s Police. While the intentions may have been to stop violence or create peace, we often have had the opposite effect, exacerbating violence and instability. As a result, much of the world now views the U.S. as the world’s bully – not its protector. In VA-11, the current representative has voted in favor of every war that’s come to a vote since he’s taken office. Since I am not taking money from the military industrial complex, mine will be an unbiased voice in Congress, unafraid to take a stand against unnecessary violent intervention.
Stop Overfunding DoD and the Pentagon. Every year, Congress gives more money to the Department of Defense than they request. I know, because it almost became a running joke when I worked there, but it’s not funny. Those dollars are taken out of other agencies’ budgets, and puts Defense in a situation where they are tasked with jobs outside of their original agency parameters. For example, cutting USAID’s budget, then tasking the military with building wells in African villages. We must allow military leaders, and not war-profiteering congressional representatives, to hone the Defense mission, ask for what they truly need, and fund them at that level. In doing this, we will save the country billions of dollars in wasteful spending and end the militarization of our civilian police.
Support peace, dignity, and security for all Palestinian and Israeli People. I believe firmly in the right of Israelis to live in safety and peace, free from the fear of violence. I believe the Palestinian people are also entitled to live in safety and peace, free from the fear of violence. If we are to achieve both, we must have honest conversations about our government’s role in enabling the expanding occupation of Palestine by an Israeli government that seems to have forgotten that hospitals and press buildings are not justifiable targets for bombs and other munitions. Currently, American citizens are subsidizing the Israeli government’s settlement expansion, home demolitions, and detention of Palestinian children. Palestinians should not be made victims of displacement, oppression, or violence by the Israeli government, and the U.S. should not support the threatened Israeli annexation of the West Bank. Instead, we must ensure that U.S. support is used to address humanitarian needs, and not further skew an already unequal conflict.