With the midterm elections only two weeks away, we have seen Donald Trump return to his message that Democrats are committing widespread vote fraud, primarily through allowing non-citizens to vote in large numbers. For example, on October 20th, Trump Tweeted “All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!” He has also riffed on this theme, which dovetails with Republican fear mongering around immigration in recent speeches. We should remember that implicit in all the right wing talk about caravans crossing the border, although not the border into the US, are that those people will come here and cast illegal votes for the Democratic Party.
Trump’s descents to into the most blatant forms of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment are now frequent enough that the responses are predictable. His apologists assert that he was misquoted or that he is simply saying what many Americans believe. The former approach is essentially dishonest, but the latter explanation is significant. There is a fair amount of truth to the belief that many Americans disparage countries whose populations are largely non-white, but that does not make Trump’s remarks less offensive. Instead it is evidence that racism is not some rare condition that Trump happens to have, but rather a widespread set of opinions that remains a cancer on American politics and society.
When this decade, which is now only a few days old ends, we will almost certainly be confronting foreign policy challenges that are hard to foresee right now. In January of 2000 few would have foreseen that a terrorist attack on the U.S. would so radically reorient and drive our foreign policy for most of the decade or that we would spend most of the decade embroiled in a seemingly endless war in Iraq. However, it is likely that some of the foreign policy issues confronting the U.S. now will not go away and will remain confounding problems throughout the decade. Some issues such as the problem of combating terrorism or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will remain, but may take very different forms over the course of the decade. These five are likely to remain substantially unchanged over the next ten years.