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In 2020 Congressional elections, 78 percent of Democratic candidates' campaign websites informed the visitor of some sort of policy platform. These varied in length and depth, but many contained substantive proposals on dozens of issues. However, a new study by RootsAction found, only 29 percent included foreign policy as one of the topics discussed.

While the military budget alone takes up over half of federal discretionary spending, most of those seeking responsibility to exercise that discretion had little or nothing to say about foreign policy, war, peace, diplomacy, weapons sales, bases, treaties, international law, or budgetary priorities.

Click here to ask your Representative to take prominent public positions on key questions of foreign policy and spending priorities, on both their Congressional and campaign websites, as well as in their public appearances.

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Areas of possible concern here include the 22 percent of Democratic House candidates who didn't bother to include on their campaign websites any serious reference to any policies they intended to pursue in office at all; the 71 percent who didn't think they had to mention the single biggest thing Congress does; and the actual content of those foreign policy platforms that could be found on campaign websites.

To qualify as having a foreign policy section on their website for purposes of the preceding count, a candidate need only have included a couple of sentences on any aspect of foreign policy. In fact, 8 percent of the foreign policy platforms were exclusively about Israel, 1 percent exclusively about Iran, and 2 percent exclusively promoting Russiagate.

Fewer than five candidates advocated any particular policy on each of the following topics: the military budget or its share in the overall budget, which wars to end or continue or start, which treaties or international agreements to join or abandon, which bases to close or maintain or open, what nuclear weapons to build or dismantle, what secret agencies to support or abolish, whether to continue killing people with missile strikes including from drones, or which nations to sell weapons to or give military training to or give military funding to (apart from lots of somewhat vague "support" expressed for Israel). No candidates took any position on any economic conversion program from militarism to green energy or other peaceful endeavors.

Holding our so-called representatives to their campaign promises is easier if they've made any. Even determining what they might be inclined to do is vastly easier if they've expressed any opinions. The Democratic Party Platform expresses a commitment to "end forever wars." But Congress is currently pushing to keep the war on Afghanistan going and even to keep troops in Germany and Korea.

Military funding is regularly up for a vote. Ending the war on Yemen will be on the agenda in the coming months, as will relations with Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. So will disarmament treaties with Russia. So will sanctions against the International Criminal Court. So will weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. What positions Congress members can be expected to take and be lobbied to take would be much clearer if they were asked to express any opinions as part of their election campaigns.

Let's ask them to do better!

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-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

Background:
>> RootsAction: Foreign Policy Was Missing from Most 2020 Democratic Campaign Websites

 

www.RootsAction.org

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