The most important issue many Americans couldn’t care less about

In an election year wrapped around the fiscal divide that segregates both parties, economic issues are certain to take America’s political landscape by storm.

As I have stated before, this is good. Politics is inevitably tied to economics and I believe that the management and allocation of wealth is ultimately the foundation for many political alliances.

However, something else is beginning to transpire – something that has not yet affected many Americans and thus, has not been a dominant political force. It will continue to garnish international significance until it eventually surpasses economics on everyone’s list of “important political issues.”

If you guessed foreign affairs, you’d be correct.

These recent years of a relatively domestic peace have changed this nation. The globalization that has seemingly conquered the world has opened the doors to a new global form of dependence, understanding and system of alliance.

Yet, after 9/11, America awoke from her pleasant dream to discover the realities of an ever-changing third world.

Recently, anti-western dictators have been overthrown and replaced by democratic-like governments that adhere to Sharia law.

Iran continues to defy the U.N. in its quest to enrich Uranium.

Neo-conservative columnists, such as Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post, assert that a preemptive Israeli military strike is inevitable. After all, the country cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear capabilities, as Iran has repeatedly stated its intent to wipe Israel off the face of the planet.

Where does that leave us? Should we intervene? Should we lend financial aid?

Quite frankly, the U.S. has become inescapably entangled in foreign affairs ever since its entrance into World War II.

While the conclusion of the war provided for an ideological war that would consume this country for years to come, it also provided a political excuse to solidify U.S. involvement in foreign military coups which have come back to haunt us.

Now, however, with a national debt of more than $15 trillion dollars – that’s $49,000 per citizen – it may be time to take a step back.

Unfortunately, I write that with much caution. If Israel attacks Iran tomorrow, it could spark an international conflict with the capability of escalading into a dangerous, multi-national war.

This tension in the Middle East is bound to boil over at some point, and that time may be sooner than you think.

The debate over the federal government’s role in foreign affairs is ultimately what will define this coming decade – not economics.

 

Reach this columnist at spmccaul@asu.edu.

 

Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.