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Brussels, the Presidential Election and the U.S. Role in the World

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Lincoln Mitchell
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The murderous terrorist attack in Brussels last week was a horrible event underscoring, yet again, the ability of ISIS and their fellow travelers to kill and cause havoc in Europe. The attack also highlighted one of the major themes and fundamental complexities of the U.S. presidential election.
The primaries have drawn a great deal of attention to several issues that may on the surface seem only peripherally related, but all revolve around the broader question of the U.S. relationship to the rest of a world that becomes more interconnected every day. Two of the issues that helped catapult Donald Trump to the top of the early polling in the Republican primary last summer and fall were his promise to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, and his pledge to exclude Muslims from entering the country. An issue that helped Bernie Sanders to his most significant primary win to date, in Michigan, was his opposition to NAFTA and his portrayal of Hillary Clinton as a committed free trader unconcerned with American workers. Thus, for both Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders, at least part of their surprisingly strong showings are due to their vision of a U.S. that is more independent from the world and less enmeshed in global politics and trade.

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