Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The fourth step

Max Fisher's three step outline of the foreign policy ritual for presidential candidates is accurate, but it is missing a step: the trip abroad. That's another way that candidates make a show of boning up on foreign policy, going on a brief visit to a foreign country, which is usually Israel. Scott Walker, Max Fisher's example in his outline of the foreign policy ritual, did the foreign visit step too.

Actually, my favorite recent example of a politician going abroad to show seriousness on foreign policy issues, is Ben Carson, who canceled his trip because he was too scared of Boko Haram. Not only did the cancellation not signal his seriousness on foreign policy, his reason for canceling revealed that Carson did not know just how localized Boko Haram's reach is. (Ben was scheduled to visit a medical facility "near Lagos." Boko Haram's activities have almost all been on the other end of the country and none have been within 150 miles from Lagos),