Will either presidential candidate give peace a chance?
On Monday night Mitt Romney delivered a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute. We’ve heard plenty of reactions in the media to the speech: He sounded just like George W. Bush, he sounded just like Barack Obama, he sounded a bit vague, he sounded more than a little untruthful. But another thing to consider: Did he sound like he was committed to peace?
Said Mitt Monday night: "No friend of America will question our commitment to support them…no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them…and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words." It seems like Mitt is saying we've got a big military and we're sure going to use it.
As the election approaches, speculation has abounded on how each candidate can capture the elusive "Catholic vote." Which issue will decide it? The economy? Abortion? Immigration? Same-sex marriage? Healthcare? Caring for the poor? Often left off of this list is another area of concern to Catholics--war and peace.
Unfortunately, the outlook may be bleak for those who prioritize issues of war and peace when considering who to vote for. In the October issue of Commonweal (article available online for subscribers only), Andrew J. Bacevich claims that “Whoever you vote for in November, you won’t be voting for peace. Just as there is no credible peace party in American politics, so too there will be no peace candidate on the ballot.”
President Obama’s foreign policy record the past four years has included a controversial increase in drone strikes. Just today The New York Times reports that we've sent troops to Syria to help refugees—and "to prepare for the possibility that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons and be positioned should the turmoil in Syria expand into a wider conflict."
There’s a wide variety of issues facing voters in the next few weeks. Will those who value peace be able to cast their vote in good conscience?