Panel on America’s Global Role After Bush

July 19, 2008

Michael Moynihan

Simon Rosenberg

Andrei Cherny

Progressive policy not where we are but where we want it to be.

Not threats but opportunity should be our focus.

Post American World — book to read — about more equal distribution of the nations of the world. Speaks to the moment we are in.

The Second Chance — book — rise of the rest through the awakening of the world’s people. like the netroots at its best. seeing something similar globally. If we don’t get on the right side of this emerging global consciousness, we will end up on the wrong side of history.

A — talks about his new book. Post WWII; Truman and Germany (West Berlin airlift). Compares this time to today, a time of war and threat of war. America had to improvise it’s place in the world, like we face now. We are in a moment where it’s not another nation state we are facing, it’s the whole world facing the challenges we all face. A world where most people live in democracies. A lot of solving will come from the bottom up. And it’s global. We have the power now as a leading force in the world for good.

M — We are living in a new era of possibility. It began with fall of USSR. With 9/11, it went on hold. We entered a new period of fear. The beginning of fear is the end of freedom. The administration fed this fear. The re-assersion of democracy in this election is lifting us out of the fear and into great possibility. We still have to deal with our war, but now we have the chance to change our image in the world. A homecoming in the world as a force of good through Obama. America unique position to lead on global warming issue. Al Gore leading the way to organize the US, but imagine a netroots organization that reaches across borders that could reach everyone. From poverty to security, we should be leading the world in a positive way that brings people together to solve problems.

S — We are not starting from a position where we are under threat, no USSR like bear out there, we are facing threats today not on the scale of earlier threats. If we are to go forwards, it should be in bringing countries together for good. We are not under siege, the world is not out to get us (Bush doctrine) The rest of the world sees it’s self lifting it’s people up, while we are not. The rest of the world moving in a way we should be proud of. After Bush, we need to see a world moving in the way America is supposed to represent. The world we will wake up to is a ultra modern world and all the challenges it takes to get ahead in this world (pollution for example).

Q — How do we frame the issue of global warming? Threat or opportunity? Poverty and global warming connected.

S — Gore spoke in terms of opportunity this morning. We can do this, we solve this. So when we frame things, we must have accurate view of what we are looking at, and what can be done to solve this. We must have the ” Can do” attitude right now. Belief it can be done is key to it succeeding.

M — Examples exist of leaders being optimistic. Bush failed by being negative, not providing solutions, but fear.

A — Gore was ignored for years in the 90’s. He was told to stop talking about GW because it would hurt the party. The question we face is how to motivate people without immediate threat? Now we must show threat and balance it with inspiration to go out and solve the problem. Threat turned into action.

Q — Our form of government sticks us with President for 4 years. Most democracies have parliament, easier to change leaders. As Obama searches for center to find votes, he will not reach across the seas enough to do what the speakers are recommending.

A — Gore not in politics so he can reach more people. We all must do the same. We need a fundamental re-thinking, We must push for change. Think in creative, broad ways beyond today’s elections.

M — Just by way of enthusiasm, Obama has encouraged others across the globe to face issues through the people. The changes we seek now are modest and need to expand to really face our issues.

S — President is impossible position. American people want their president to “come home” and deal with domestic issues. Obama as president will have to balance home and abroad issues. This makes his people very important, and he will have to manage a massive amount of challenges. Bush brought us tax cuts and war, that’s it. Obama must push a lazy populace back into action. Bush broke DC and now it is a challenge to get things moving again. Obama building grassroots to push legislation with the people.

Q — In specific terms, what are three things Obama must focus on in global foreign policy?

A — One, a successor regime to Kyoto. Tow, real commitment to democratization across the globe. Third, redefine war on terror to address what people really face everyday that leads them to terrorism

M — Nuclear non-proliferation. Climate change. Third, commitment to re-engagement in the international arena.

S — One, Obama must manage Iraq well or it will destroy his presidency. Second, democratization is very important, helping fragile states become successful with tools we must develop. Third, climate change, we must show the world we are serious about it. Energy security is wrong way to think of climate change. We need to focus on the positive.

Q — Iran becoming a threat is due to Bush sable rattling. Given his former rhetoric, how important are our words to fixing our standing in the wordl?

M — Obama has the tools to do this. Non-proliferation is the key to a non-nuclear Iran. We need a real re-vitalized proliferation policy.

S — The inability of the administration to understand that Shite Iraq would be pro-Iranian is their biggest mistake. However, we are starting to see a new approach, but Israel is a wild card. Iran will be in our conversation for years. A new non-proliferation regime is the key to solving this and future nuclear issues.

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