Politics And Foreign Policy : Political Parties And Elections

1082 Words Dec 6th, 2016 5 Pages
Politics plays a major role in American foreign policy. Political parties and elections specifically can radically shape American foreign policy. Political parties help support candidates of similar views in running for office. These candidates play a major role in both the Executive and Legislative branches that shape American foreign policy. Today, partisanship is very strong and individuals of the same party support each other’s agenda. Further, elections can gauge the public’s opinion on foreign policy. The public’s distaste of George W. Bush’s foreign policy was showcased with Republicans defeats in Congress in 2006. This continued in 2008 with Democrats gaining a supermajority in the Senate and Barack Obama winning the White House. However, this division of the parties was not always the case.
Bipartisanship was very common in the early Cold War years. Typically, the Presidency was held by Republicans and Congress by Democrats. Both parties agreed that national security required both parties to work together to halt the expansion of the Soviet Union. This era of bipartisanship is evident with the relation of Democratic President Harry S. Truman and Senate Foreign Relations Chair and Republican Senator from Michigan, Arthur Vandenberg. Despite being of different parties both men worked to institute the Marshall Plan, the Bretton Woods Agreement, and the UN Charter. However, this period of bipartisanship began to falter during the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War showed…

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