By Jenna Ben-Yehuda, President and CEO, Truman National Security Project and Truman Center for National Policy
The election is well underway with a record-shattering 70 million votes already cast for the next President. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is laying time bombs for a prospective Biden administration. Each is intended to gut the government workforce and civil society of its independence and expertise under a second term. Three recent moves, taken together, deserve consideration and bring to mind actions by authoritarian governments in Russia, Venezuela, and Hungary. These countries have deployed similar tactics to dismantle independent voices and politicize government employees, which in turn have given wide berth to corruption. If implemented, these actions will threaten our national security. …
By: Truman National Security Project’s Colorado Chapter
On January 6, flags were raised against the US Capitol, their poles used to violently break down doors and windows behind which our elective representatives barricaded themselves while under siege. A confederate flag, the very symbol of slavery and treason, was paraded through the halls of freedom and where the late Rep. John Lewis so recently walked and boldly strove for equal rights. We now know the rioters — who some have aptly called domestic terrorists — murdered one Capitol Police officer, violently assaulted others, left behind bombs, looted our National Capitol, and defaced federal buildings. …
By: Isaac Eagan, Truman National Security Project Defense Council
This piece was repurposed from a social media post by the author
I spent a considerable amount of time in Georgia over the past month, first in Augusta and then in Atlanta, serving as a poll watcher alongside courageous election officials to help ensure every eligible voter — regardless of their background or party affiliation — could cast their ballot in the Senate runoff. What I witnessed in Georgia resonated deeply as one of the most powerful, heartening examples of our democracy in action. I saw 60 year-olds compelled to vote for the first time. I saw inner city youth collect their peers and shepherd them to the polling stations, ensuring they brought the right identification to legally cast their ballots. I saw old and young, black and white, rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, all exercising their right as Americans. This experience stood in stark contrast to Wednesday’s tragedy, serving as a powerful reminder that we can and must do better as a nation.
I returned to DC on the afternoon of January 6, 2021, to one of the saddest, darkest episodes in America’s history. Right-wing domestic terrorists, driven by baseless conspiracy theories advanced by the President of the United States and his entourage, stormed the seat of American government, the first time our Capitol was breached by enemies of the Republic since 1814. Every single citizen of this nation should be heartbroken and outraged by this blatant act of sedition.
However, we should not be surprised, for this senseless act of violence did not spring up out of nowhere. If there’s one thing that can be said about the President, he’s always been transparent about his intentions. We have always known exactly what he stood for. In November, 74 million Americans — after Charlottesville, after Lafayette Square, after “very fine people on both sides”, after “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by”, and on and on — made a conscious decision to vote for a second Trump term. Those 74 million are complicit in yesterday’s criminal act, having either tacitly or directly enabled and abetted the President’s lies, racism, bigotry, self-aggrandizement, and incitements to violence.
Spare me your tough guy antics, your “All Lives Matter” and “Law and Order” nonsense, your ridiculous claims of voter fraud (thoroughly debunked by Republican officials, among many others), your “But what about antifa?!?” false equivalency (on that last note, come talk to me when left-wing domestic terrorists are egged on by the President of the United States). Do some soul searching. Get off Facebook, Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax. Ignore the demagogues and sycophants seeking to divide the country for personal gain. Read some history. Seek out facts. Conduct basic analysis of the information in front of you. Engage someone who doesn’t look like you. Be curious.
Don’t talk patriotism — live it.
Do it for your country. Do it for your children. Do it for yourselves.
We can be better than this, if we so choose. …
By: Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, security fellow of the Truman National Security Project.
Transatlantic relations are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. A Biden victory could provide a much-needed reset in three important ways.
The transatlantic relationship could return to being a pillar of European security.
For over 70 years, each American President has understood the importance of European security as a foundation for stability and prosperity for the United States until President Trump took office almost four years ago. Early in his term, his public comments gave rise to doubts about future US commitments to NATO, including Article 5 and its “collective defense” — the cornerstone of Europe’s defense. …
The United States is embroiled in one of the most polarizing elections in recent history. U.S. foreign policy, and the debate over the role America should play in the world features centrally in both Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s platforms. With four years of chaos behind us, it has become evidently clear that Donald Trump’s policies are a blatant threat to the US. And, as someone who was born and raised in the great state of Utah, I can also safely say that his policies are an outrageous affront to the unwavering character of the citizens of this great state.
In just four years, Donald Trump has undone decades of progress and made the United States less safe. Since the end of World War Two, the U.S. has deepened its relationship with its allies, stood by our international partners in times of need, and even called on those states to aid us in times of crisis. In fact, the only time in history that NATO’s collective defense clause, known as Article V, has been invoked, was in the hours following 9/11. …
by Francisco Bencosme
In the highly politicized environment of the 2020 elections, politicians across the board are scrambling to portray themselves as just as “tough” on China as Donald Trump claims he is. This approach is misguided and shortsighted.
There is no question that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s method of governing poses an existential challenge to an open society — just look at recent crackdown in Hong Kong. …
By Oren Jacobson
Over the last 30 years, the world has witnessed a shift away from democracy and toward autocratic rule. As Donald Trump’s presidency has rolled on, observers inside and outside the United States have wondered: Is America next? In his comments at the Democratic Convention, former President Barack Obama explicitly cautioned Americans that democracy was on the line in 2020. Despite his warning, awakening America to this threat is difficult because most misperceive how modern democracies die. In our collective imagination, the end of a democracy comes about through a high profile singular moment, like a military coup, or even a civil war. …
Joy Basu, Truman Security Fellow
I’m asked “where I’m really from” almost every time I enter a Lyft, sit at a bar or meet a senior citizen (when those interactions were still socially acceptable). It is rarely intended offensively — and yet raises my hackles, because it assumes that people who look like me aren’t from the United States. That is because I am not white. The irony isn’t lost on me that Columbus brought Europeans to America with the goal of finding my ancestors; he named the indigenous “Indians” …. and then directed their death with guns, germs, and greed. …
The US lost its clean energy edge to China and is failing in the fight against climate change. Joe Biden wants to change that by making America the world’s “Clean Energy Superpower.”
By Dan Misch
With the largest economy in the world, the United States can afford to spend the most on our military and the most research dollars worldwide. For these reasons, among others, we are often considered the world’s primary superpower and a leader in global innovation.
by Josh Berthume, Truman Security Fellow
About three weeks ago, my essay “7 Hours in November” was published, in which I argued that disinformation represented a real threat to the republic. I hypothesized that the most dangerous timespan would be from when the polls closed on the East coast to about seven hours later, when the national media determines it isn’t possible to declare a clear winner in the presidential race. It’s only been three weeks, but the Trump administration’s drive towards real authoritarianism has accelerated precipitously.
In those three weeks, the drive to open schools despite our total lack of control over the coronavirus has generated an intense stream of disinformation from official sources. The process for how COVID-19 hospitalization information is reported to the CDC was federally disrupted, following an implied threat that the National Guard could be deployed to oversee medical facilities’ data reporting. Federal law enforcement agents from multiple parts of the Department of Homeland Security are currently deployed in Portland, and more personnel from various agencies will soon be deployed to other American cities with Democratic mayors in states with Democratic governors as a de facto secret police force. So far, in Portland, these agents are illegally detaining peaceful protestors by kidnapping them with unmarked men and minivans, a nakedly political intimidation tactic which blatantly violates the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. …