Hello Everyone,

As I said in my last commentary, when I was writing Obamagrams, I regularly urged everyone to not only listen to speeches Obama gave, but to read those speeches as well. Similarly, for those of you who haven’t done so already, I urge you to listen to at least some portions of some of Pete Buttigieg’s talks, and then read those portions, too.

In this Post, I am suggesting doing just that with the foreign policy speech he delivered in June. It is particularly relevant in light of recent events.

Please click on the image below to view the speech.

The following are some excerpts from the written text, highlighting its future orientation.

From the beginning, my campaign for president has been driven by the awareness that we face not just another presidential election, but a transition between one era and another, a fact of which the current presidency is as much a symptom as a cause. I believe that the next three or four years will determine the next thirty or forty for our country and our world…

I am thankful for this opportunity to share [my] worldview…

When I arrived in college in the fall of 2000, scholars were debating whether the end of the Cold War amounted to the End of History…By the time I finished my [graduate] studies in 2007, America was mired in two wars, its respect even among our allies had plummeted, and no one could be certain that the global future would be any better than the past…

Democrats can no more turn the clock back to the 1990s than Republicans can return us to the 1950s, and we should not try…
To cope with enormous change, American foreign policy for the future must be securely grounded in American values, American interests, and American relationships [emphases added]…

Countries with models that fly in the face of our values—from Chinese techno-authoritarianism to Russian oligarchic capitalism to anti-modern theocratic regimes in the Middle East—all present a major challenge to us…

Ironically, at the very moment when American prestige and respect is collapsing, it has never been more needed that America live up to the values we profess. The world needs the best of America right now…

…we need to invest in strategies to deal with less overt threats—political interference, proxy wars, cyberattacks, and the potential weaponization of economic and technological interdependence…

…perhaps the single best thing we can do to roll back authoritarianism abroad is to model the strength of inclusive democratic capitalism right here in the United States…
I want to emphasize the potential of climate diplomacy, and the kind of world we might build when climate stands alongside democracy and human rights as a central goal, and a source of legitimacy, for nations in global affairs…

…the world needs America to update the institutions through which we engage with the world, ensuring that they reflect the fact that our world is closer to 2054 than to 1945.

The U.S. has long sought to maintain total dominance in conventional war. But in the coming decades, we are more likely than ever to face insurgencies, asymmetric attacks, and high-tech strikes with cyber weapons or drones. Yet our latest defense budget calls for spending more on 3 Virginia-class submarines—$10.2 billion—than on cyber defenses. It proposes spending more on a single frigate than on artificial intelligence and machine learning…

In a world where data — and disinformation — dominate, we should revitalize our intelligence services…

To successfully navigate these dynamics and seize new opportunities will require a new generation of Americans — fluent in different languages and cultures, comfortable in a digital world, deeply committed to the American project.

A foreign policy that serves our people in their daily lives can best be made by government officials who represent the full diversity of our people. For far too long, our national security establishment has not reflected this diversity…

The world needs America. But not just any America. Not an America that has reduced itself to just one more player, scrapping its way through an amoral worldwide scrum for narrow advantage. It has to be America at our best…It has to be an America that knows how to make better the everyday life of its citizens and of people around the world, knowing how much one has to do with the other.

Please find the full speech attached to this email.

By both listening to and reading Pete’s speeches, you will get a fuller appreciation for his values, the quality of his thinking, and his extraordinary ability to communicate them.

Please, as always, pass it along.

Chuck

Foreign Policy Speech 6-11-19