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2020? Murphy Talks to NY Magazine About “Modern Progressive Foreign Policy”

September 24, 2018 By Staff
2020? Murphy Talks to NY Magazine About “Modern Progressive Foreign Policy”

The junior senator is viewed within his party as a leading voice on foreign policy. Will that help him if he stages a 2020 presidential run?

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) continues to make a name for himself as a “progressive foreign policy” voice in the Democratic Party, just months ahead of a possible presidential run in 2020.

Murphy spoke to New York Magazine for a piece published Sunday, forcefully arguing for a “modern progressive foreign policy” that focuses on U.S. “soft power” but also “celebrates the strength of the U.S. military.”

Here’s the relevant portion of the profile:

Even those few left-leaning senators who have put significant thought into foreign policy – and have formulated a progressive critique of the Beltway common-sense on that subject – still don’t dare to propose removing any coins from the Pentagon’s piggy-bank. Connecticut senator Chris Murphy has called for shifting America’s geopolitical strategy away from reflexive interventionism and towards an expansion in “soft power,” while also voicing skepticism about the current U.S.-Saudi alliance. But asked last year whether a progressive, 21st century U.S. foreign policy would involve cuts to overall defense spending, Murphy insisted that it would not.

“I argue that a modern progressive foreign policy celebrates the strength of the U.S. military,” the senator told New York, adding “the American public supports a very strong military, so I think Democrats would be swimming pretty hard upstream if we were arguing for massive transfers of funding from the Department of Defense to other accounts.”

What followed Murphy’s quote was an implicit critique of his vision from New York Magazine author Eric Levitz: “If progressives are serious about all the (vitally necessary) new domestic spending they’ve been proposing, they’re eventually going to have to do a crawl stroke through choppy waters.”

Murphy may be caught between a rock and a hard place if he runs in 2020. On the one hand, only one-third of American voters think “too much” is spent on “national defense and military purposes.” On the other hand, progressives picking the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 may be demanding the military take a cut.