How Bernie Sanders would dismantle the American empire

The Blob is going to put up a tough fight

Bernie Sanders.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Ethan Miller/Getty Images, Nenov/iStock)

Foreign policy played little role in the 2016 Democratic primary, but 2020 might be different. Most of the field has concentrated so far on domestic questions, with few staking out much in the way of a signature perspective — with one exception: Bernie Sanders. As Peter Beinart writes at The Atlantic, Sanders has elucidated a platform that is strongly critical of America's imperial blundering, arguing instead for a return of neighborly internationalism and re-engagement with the United Nations.

In the democratic socialist tradition, fighting imperialism has usually been a top priority (the vast Soviet empire notwithstanding). Sanders has the most thoroughgoing critique of American empire of any major candidate since George McGovern at least. But it raises the question: Would he be able to roll back the empire from the very pinnacle of imperial power?

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