Foreign Affairs Plus: Me the People
This Plus collection includes a letter on the presidential election from Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose, an excerpt from Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer's new book, Me the People, and PDF reprints of articles by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
The presidential campaign this year has been full of gags: Rick Perry's "Oops," Herman Cain's "Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan," Newt Gingrich. But not to worry, Joe Biden assures us -- "The president has a big stick." What is left for actual comedians to do? Establish their own Super PAC, of course, like Stephen Colbert.
Since the political silly season has dragged on so long, we figured it was high time to bring in the professionals, and so we're happy to send you a takeout from Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer's new book on the Constitution, Me the People. As historian Doris Kearns Goodwin notes, "I knew James Madison. James Madison was a friend of mine. Mr. Bleyer, you are no James Madison. But you sure are a heck of a lot more fun."
The selection we've chosen deals with the formation of the executive branch at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Today we take the presidency for granted, even the imperial one, but the Founding Fathers certainly did not. Looking at how the sausage was made might turn your stomach -- or, with someone like Bleyer as a guide, at least bust your gut.
Back then, there was a shoe-in for who should get the job first: George Washington, ever angling for that premium spot on the dollar and quarter. Today, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are duking it out for the prize of spending the next four years running George's eponymous city and the nation at large. So we've thrown in copies of the foreign policy agendas they published in Foreign Affairs last time around, so you can wax nostalgic-or apoplectic. As the saying goes, we report, you decide...
Editor, Foreign Affairs
From the Book, ME THE PEOPLE by Kevin Bleyer. Copyright © 2012 by Kevin Bleyer. Reprinted by arrangement with Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download "Renewing American Leadership," by Barack Obama
After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America.
Download "Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges," by Mitt Romney
Washington is as divided on foreign policy as it has been at any point in the last 50 years. As the "greatest generation" did before us, we must move beyond political camps to unite around bold actions in order to build a strong America and a safer world. We must strengthen our military and economy, achieve energy independence, reenergize civilian and interagency capabilities, and revitalize our alliances.