EGF Explores the Dark Side of Foreign Policy Bipartisanship in The Washington Post

Mar 3, 2020

At EGF, we seek to understand and explain the world as it is, helping people to make meaning out of the issues and events which impact their world. Our Independent America project explores how U.S. foreign policy could be better tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.

This project has revealed that Americans favor a less aggressive approach to the world, and we notice the American public’s support for a more restrained and less interventionist foreign policy diverges from the bipartisan consensus in Washington.

Why does this matter? Because, despite conventional thinking which sees bipartisanship as a path toward sound policy decisions, when it comes to American foreign policy, the opposite is often true.

Last week, The Washington Post published a compelling piece written by EGF senior fellow Mark Hannah which breaks down how bipartisanship has, in fact, contributed to years of war which has done little to make America, and the world, a safer place. And, which, when you look at American public opinion, goes against what voters actually desire.

EGF believes that, when it comes to war and peace, civil and vibrant debate should be informed by public opinion. As Mark writes, instead of focusing on the pursuit of bipartisanship, lawmakers should more closely consider the preferences of the public. While “we should not careen to the other extreme and conduct foreign policy by referendum,” there is indeed wisdom in listening to “the more general preferences of the public [whom policymakers] are meant to serve.”

Read the full piece at The Washington Post here.


This article is part of Independent America, a three-year research project led out by EGF senior fellow Mark Hannah, which seeks to explore how U.S. foreign policy could better be tailored to new global realities and to the preferences of American voters.