flying north is a blog about navigating the twenty-first century world; a travel blog for travelers who have an open and inclusive world view. It is for travelers who believe that through travel and the inevitable cultural exchange that occurs with travel we can better understand our world. Along with this, we hope to gain a better understanding of our fellow global citizens and the challenges that each of us faces in the twenty-first century world.
It can be argued that there is no other national election in the world that has the potential to affect – positively or negatively – global affairs such as the election of the U.S. President. For this reason alone, the man or woman who holds this office can make or break the short and long-term environment for intrepid travelers, particularly in those less traveled areas of the world. For this election cycle, flying north officially endorses Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States.
While, in the opinion of the editorial board of flying north, there are many domestic policy reasons that one would support President Obama over Mitt Romney [i.e. social policy, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigration issues, infrastructure, education, tax policy, etc.], the focus of this endorsement is foreign policy. It is the opinion of flying north that Mitt Romney does not have a grasp of key concepts in foreign policy and that – as demonstrated in op eds and debates – his foreign policy positions change by the week and are not to be trusted. His advisors on the subject are among the weakest seen in any presidential campaign in recent memory.
Mitt Romney’s “fall back” position is to tout American exceptionalism, the brand that the most radical of right wing elements will respond to, and to take important institutions such as the United Nations and paint them as another piece of some grand Socialist conspiracy to undermine U.S. sovereignty while converting the nation to something he calls “European style” – whatever that happens to mean [more brie for everyone?]. His comments on foreign policy have been all over the map [no pun intended] and he would surely benefit from taking History 101 and Political Science 101 in the coming year at his local college or university.
The facts and quotes are out there, so please don’t take flying north’s word for it – go to the transcripts and read them for yourselves. Whether it is Romney’s campaign criticizing President Obama’s “Czechoslovakia” policy, his campaign’s referral to Syria as being “strategically important to the Soviet Union,” his geographical confusion about sovereign states of the Middle East, his use of the George W-ism of referring to sovereign states as “evil,” his gaffe-laden trips to England, Israel and Poland, his support of the war in Iraq, his op-ed on the START treaty that revealed a complete lack of understanding of the treaty, or his playing politics with the attacks in Benghazi which took the lives of four U.S. citizens including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, Romney has clearly not passed the Commander in Chief test vis a vis foreign policy.
In sharp contrast, President Barack Obama has shown steady and thoughtful leadership on foreign policy. Whether it was threading the needle of the Arab Spring in Egypt, supporting the revolution in Libya without leading it, drawing down troop levels in the Middle East, building a substantial international coalition to deal with sanctions related to the nuclear question in Iran, respecting and utilizing the U.N. as a tool to promote international cooperation, or refocusing energies on the Asia-Pacific region, he has not succumbed to ideological groupthink and has made many tough decisions, and in so doing has been quite successful in foreign policy matters.
If you are an avid traveler and U.S. citizen and are eligible to vote, exercise that right.
Go out and vote tomorrow, and choose President Barack Obama.