Day: July 4, 2019

Background Briefing: July 4, 2019


A Plan to Broaden the Definition of National Security

We begin on this 4th of July with Trump’s military parade underway, and discuss a plan to broaden the definition of national security short of jettisoning the term altogether, with the formation of a new think tank the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft named after John Quincy Adams who in a speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared the U.S. “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only to her own”. A co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Colonel Andrew Bacevich, who previously taught at West Point and served for 23 years as a commissioned officer in the United States Army, joins us to discuss how the Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarized approach to foreign policy and national security in order to redirect our permanent war economy and bring an end to endless and counterproductive wars. By arguing for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East, returning to the nuclear deal with Iran, adopting a less confrontational approach to Russia and China, Colonel Bacevich hopes the Quincy Institute will help restore the pursuit of peace to the nation’s foreign policy agenda.


Where Do the Nation’s Values and Morality Stand on This 4th of July?

Then we speak with Bill Hing, Professor and Director of the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic and Dean’s Circle Scholar at the University of San Francisco who just returned from visiting an immigrant detention center in Clint, Texas. He joins us to discuss where our nation’s values and morality stands as we celebrate America, in light of the disgraceful treatment of children in our custody at the southern border by the Trump government which is acting in OUR name. With revelations from a Facebook Group that reflect a debased culture within the Border Patrol, we assess the possibility of our better angels overcoming this dark moment brought about by Trump’s divisiveness, racism and cruelty.


A Case for Economic Patriotism

Then finally we investigate where we as a nation stand in terms of economic patriotism as the divide between the rich and the poor grows even wider while most of the rewards go to the 1% with wages for the middle class and working Americans having remained flat for decades. Sam Pizzigati, a veteran labor journalist and editor of the online newsletter, Too Much and author of “The Case for a Maximum Wage”, joins us to discuss the extraordinary but accurate observation Bernie Sanders made in the recent presidential candidates’ debate that only 3 American families have a combined wealth equivalent to that of one half of the entire U.S. population.