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General Election Debate 1 (Foreign Policy)

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Live from the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Both Presidential candidates are invited to attend. 

Here's how it'll work: 

  • This thread should be used for opening statements, limited to one post per person.
  • Each question has their own thread within this subforum. All questions are asked to all candidates, so everyone should give their answer in addition to rebutting their opponents. Everyone can reply as many times as necessary, but remember that being too vocal or cantankerous can backfire.
  • Each question remains open until 11:59 PM ET on Sunday (1/6/18). After this time we'll have another 24 hours for closing statements.

NOTE: This debate is merely for roleplaying purposes. It will directly influence the polls, even nationally, but there will not be a ranked list of "winners" or any cash advantage or anything like that.

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My friends thank you for inviting me to be here at this historic debate, the first debate of the 2020 General Election. This election I am running to build the future, to put forward the comprehensive reforms that America needs to succeed not just into the next decade but beyond into the rest of the century. Congressman Vang and I will be here tonight pitching our visions for you on a variety of topics, from America's place in the World to our relationships, good or bad, with some of the most damaging and destructive regimes in international politics. For the last four years President Trump has alienated us from the World, he has poisoned our friendships with allies such as the EU with his bizarre tariff policies, and he has played friend to the lowest of the low, being completely duped by the likes of North Korea. As President I will return America to its rightful place in the World, leadership. I will end the Trump trade wars, I will return us to the heart of international issues to build a better world through diplomacy, and I will stand up for America's interests rather than roll over and do deals with murderers and human rights abusers.

The United States is the most powerful country in the history of the World. We have the largest economy in the history of the World and we have the largest, most powerful, military in the history of the World. In short we have all the hard and soft power we need to get things done on a global scale. Successive Presidents dating back decades have realised this power and used it as a force for good, America was instrumental in the creation of NATO and the United Nations, our economic clout gave the World the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, it was the US that provided the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War 2 and save it from the spectre of Communism. Whatever missteps there may have been in the more recent past the World is better off when America leads and the US is all the better for it too. As President I will undo Trump's damaging foreign policy, it isn't putting America first to withdraw from the World stage it just makes everyone, us included, worse off. I will work bilaterally with international partners such as the United Kingdom to create trade deals that work for American enterprises, I will work multilaterally with international partners such as the European Union, the African continent, the British Commonwealth, and our allies in South East Asia to craft multilateral deals for defence, trade, and the spreading of development, and I will work globally to bring the worst excesses of humankind to heel, working to sanction human rights abusers wherever we find them.

My opponent has stated he is opposed to tariffs, yet he continues to advocate for them and has done nothing over the last four years to prevent them. His environmental plan would see more tariffs levied on China and the rest of the World deepening our trade wars and continuing to adversely affect our economy, this is not leadership this is simply a way to continue with tariffs whilst dressing them up in a new guise. He wants to keep tariffs whilst he negotiates a better deal, Mr Vang we had a better deal before when Trump was only candidate. When Obama was President Congress wasn't forced to pass emergency legislation to bail out farmers across the Mid West. Free trade is the best way to mutual growth, it has been proven time and time again throughout the centuries but the Republican Party seem determined to ignore history and repeat the mistakes of the Spanish Mercantilists and the Soviet Autarkists.

My friends as we get ready to begin the debate I will simply ask you to judge us both on the strength of our ideas and their implications for America's place in the World. I believe in an America that leads, does my opponent?

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Thank you Ohio state university for having us tonight and thank you all of you watching across the country wanting to better inform yourself between your choice between Mr. Macmillan and myself on matters of foreign policy.

You know both Mr. Macmillan and I are both college educated although he's spent much more time in the university system than I have. I don't know by what means he had of going college but I had to earn my ability to go to college through service in the US Army. That involved me serving my country in Iraq. You know it amazes me that my opponent sees us getting involved in Iraq as a good thing or the right thing to do. From the comfort and safety of his university classroom he felt righteousness which he still has today in dictating that American soldiers should be pushed around the world like pieces in the board game Risk to answer for whatever international cause seems worthy of spilling our blood over. Ship us out to places like Iraq, Libya, and Syria to play global policeman.

Let me tell you as someone who was there that getting involved in Iraq was a mistake. Arguably the biggest military mistake in American history. Iraq is worse off now than before we set foot there back in 2003. Division has deepened. Extremism has flourished. The country's economy and infrastructure ruined. Kidnappings and killings are common place. The Christian minority persecuted after previously being tolerated. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, thousands of American soldiers killed, and over two trillion dollars wasted. For wanting to give us credibility on the world stage like Mr. Macmillan says he wants to do I don't see how illegal invasions violating the UN's founding charter makes us look any better. If anything it's driven global resentment of us.

I'll be honest here, Iraq was the worst time of my life. It's not fun losing the lives of your friends. It's not fun to have people shooting at you or firing mortars at you. The pain of war doesn't leave the lives of those who served just because they've left the battlefield. For many the home front is a new battlefield trying to fit back into society.

You know we have appropriately 800 military bases in 80 different countries in the world. Can you name them all off the top of your head? I sure can't. 138,000 soldiers stationed the world over. When you have that many bases around the world you're an empire. If it were Russia, China, or Iran as spread out as us we wouldn't hesitate in calling it an empire. It goes directly against our founding in opposition to empire our current state of global military reach.

To quote James Madison: "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too...all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the forces of the people...No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare"

What we've seen especially in the past few decades is military intervention after military intervention put us into a state of endless war. This has brought about a more authority to the central government more power in the Executive branch, more government secrecy, more government borrowing, more invasive government surveillance of the public, higher taxes, more concentration of wealth, and more dead soldiers. In short a distortion of the very governmental ideals we were founded on into something very different.

My foreign policy will be driven by the advise our first President George Washington gave in his farewell address on what a truly American foreign policy should be, quote: "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence"

In other words, we must eschew empire, mind our own business, and display an example of peace and freedom to the rest of the world. To quote Patrick Henry: "Those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power and splendor, have been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom."

To quote another great man in John Quincy Adams: "America has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings...Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. Bus she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

Adams understood that in attempting to militarily bring freedom to the world America would risk its own as he said quote "The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from freedom to force...She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."

Our founders were very clear on their opposition to interventionism, global adventurism, and empire and what it would mean for our freedom and liberty. That being such, as President I would abstain us as much as possible from this decrepit abandonment of the cornerstones of our nation. We will not put our troops in harms way to score points on the global stage. We will contract the excesses of the empire we've had built in our name. I will working with our generals to create a plan to leave both Syria and Afghanistan. Following that I will look to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists or the AUMF that has lead us into forever expanding global warfare and return the choices of war and peace to Congress. Additionally I shall look to rectify the abuses of the Patriot Act which has wrecked havoc on the civil liberties of the American public and restore privacy to the public which has been lost in our monolithic battle with global terrorism.

Our liberty must not be eroded by interventionism any longer. We have enough problems on the home front to deal with before looking for more trouble around the globe. I will be a President if elected who will serve the American people, not the global community which far too many Presidents have betrayed the role's duties outlined in the Constitution. America first and foremost in all that I do.

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Throughout this debate you have seen the differences that exist between myself and my opponent, you have seen the intransigence with which he views many issues, and you have seen the way forward that I propose. Make no mistake about it President Trump's trade war has inflicted this hardship on the nation, has seen over 90% of surplus destroyed because we couldn't export it, has seen billions wasted propping up farmers who should have been able to make the money by exporting instead of relying on Government subsidy. I propose an alternative and I will continue to do so throughout this campaign. Throughout this debate I have put forward a sensible and moderate set of policies that will see America end her self-imposed exile from the World stage and retake the spotlight as a leader.

On trade I have been direct and to the point where my opponent has dithered. Mr Vang claims to want an end to the trade war, he votes for the subsidies, but he remains completely opposed to the only way to end the hardship. As President I will end the trade war with China and I will end our trade war with our allies in the European Union. My opponent's policy of levying more tariffs on China will only lead to greater economic hardship for exporters across the Mid West including here in Ohio. Only by reducing tariffs mutually can we see an end to the wasteful policy of giving farmers money to make up for the Executive branch's failure of policy and failure of leadership. I offer that leadership in trade policy, my opponent merely offers more of the same.

On American leadership there is a simple equation, the more we put in the more we get out, and I intend to put a lot more in than President Trump has ever done. As President I will not vilify entire nations with racial slurs, I will work with the community of nations that makes up this Earth to tackle issues that affect all of us. Climate Change does not respect boundaries or borders and if it goes unchallenged and unchecked it will leave millions of Americans homeless, as President I will fulfil our international obligations and use them to springboard America into the next decade with jobs and green infrastructure so that we can become World leaders in green energy moving us one step closer to energy independence, a goal the Republicans used to support. I will invest in our nation's defence, particularly our cyber-security, so that no nation may infiltrate our election in the way that Russia did in 2016, indeed I will do whatever it takes to ensure the sanctity of our elections including the creation of an entire new department to keep the fight up against those who would seek to do our democracy harm.

On the issue of human rights I will take an unequivocal stand, America shall become a bastion of human rights that will shine throughout the World. I will end President Trump's inhumane separation of families at the border that deprives many of their right to a family life, I will sign America back up to the United Nations Human Rights Council and I will not be afraid to make sure our allies understand that our aid is conditional upon respect for the rights and values that we hold dearest. We will not support Iran, we will not support Assad, and we most certainly will not be treating North Korea like the long cherished friends President Trump has decided that they are.

My Presidency would be a welcome return to normality, America restored as the leader of the free world and at the top of all international discussions. My plan for our nation's foreign policy is a step by step guide to unpicking all the worst excesses of President Trump: his fawning over human rights abusers in North Korea, his commitment to economic self harm in trade wars, his racially guided attacks on many of our allies and neighbours. I offer an alternative of dignity where our nation is respected, not laughed at. I offer green jobs and a better future as a member of the Paris Climate Accords, I offer a bastion of human rights that will shine throughout the World, and I offer an end to the trade wars which have devastated much of the Mid West including this great state. This November the choice is clear, we can do better and we will.

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Tonight ladies and gentleman we've been pitched a brand of hawkish liberal foreign policy that is both fundamentally hypocritical and morally bankrupt. In one breath my opponent says we will be a beacon of global human rights all the while continuing support for Saudi Arabia one of the biggest violators of human rights facilitating a mass starvation humanitarian crisis in Yemen in addition to their large support of terrorism.

We'll continue the global intervention adventurism like we've seen in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria filling our cemeteries with our very best while engulfing us to trillions in debt. Stoking more global condemnation of the United States and inspiring more terrorism for intrusion after intrusion to prop up an empire our founders direly warned of us prophetically centuries ago in their grand wisdom. It's a weight on our back that has held us down for decades as politician after politician have refused to put America first in the world. Out of touch classroom academia op-ed posturing on a global stage with the lives of our service members just as my own was risked on the battlefield in Iraq for a cause we shouldn't have gotten involved in.

We'll be lead into globalist economic suicide pacts like the Paris Climate Agreement in an attempt ineffectually address climate change. An action that by 2040 according to a study by the National Economic Research Associates would cost us a 38% cut in iron and steel production, 31% cut in natural gas production, an 85% cut in coal production, a GDP loss of $3 trillion, and the loss of some 6.5 million industrial jobs.  Meanwhile, according to proponents' own data, the agreement would have no discernible effect on global temperatures. But loose unoutlined promises of a green new deal type jobs program unacted on by House majority leadership like my opponent is somehow supposed to make up for such a windfall of economic self-harm. As a sponsor of the largest jobs program since the actual New Deal in the Rebuilding America's Infrastructure Act let me tell you, there's empty talk in the world and then there's proven results. All the while turning a blind eye to the harmful effects of the free mass importation of harmful carbon pollution by foreign exporters particularly because apparently one wouldn't want to anger an oppressive violator of human rights such as we see with the Chinese government. Truly white flag surrenders on economic, environmental, and moral standings across the board. This is the message my opponent is trying to sell you on.

It's a philosophy concerned about superficial appearances and self-promotion over actual action. My opponent calls for the ending of family separations at the border all the while I've been the only member of Congress to sponsor legislation on the matter. It's been overlooked because it wasn't something House majority leadership such as that which my opponent is apart of could claim as their own personal victory. Rather than act on the matter in a time expedient fashion he'd rather wait so he could bask in his own self-righteousness enacting it as President himself.

My foreign policy will be one that will worry more about bringing the American troops home than some distant squabble unrelated to our country. One that upholds our economic interests over unamerican self-sabotaging globalist allegiance and rogue economic actors that push down their own people to maintain their projection of power. America first through and through.


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