The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Case for Foreign Policy: Why the Average Person Should Look Outside the Box

America’s relationships with other countries matter at the ballot box, despite citizens’ lack of knowledge on them.
Torch Illustration / Megan Chapman
Photo Courtesy / Unsplash cytonn_photography

International politics are just beyond Americans’ reach. It seems that everything America  does has to do with every single other country. Whether it is our allies or enemies shaking hands with the President or flexing our imperial muscles for war, labor or oil, it seems that every issue has the American flag written all over it. One would think that because of this citizens would be more involved in world affairs, but a concerning number of Americans know nothing about foreign policy.

A study by the Council on Foreign Relations  surveyed Americans and their relationship with international relations. Despite seven in ten respondents believing that education on this topic needs to be emphasized and expanded, many could not understand why we went to war in Afghanistan. 

They had no idea it was because the country was a safe haven for terrorist group Al Qaeda. They could not even identify Iraq on a map. This is not the fault of the average person, but once that fault is identified, it needs to be fixed at the source. 

How are we supposed to peel the layers of the onion that is America’s role in world affairs? America, a ginormous octopus with its tentacles in Ukraine, the Gaza Strip and the Dominican Republic, gives little insight to the world outside of the inner conflict between states. 

When tasked with topics  like reproductive rights, healthcare and the attack on our education, many are so busy keeping track of which states allow abortions and which do not, they do not have the time to then sit there and ask themselves about what America is doing abroad. But the leaders of the country care, and therefore so should we.

You, yes I’m looking at you. You wake up in the morning and attend your classes. You spend time with friends and family. Maybe you take your partner out on a date after working a minimum wage job. Your life is split between what you have to do to make it through the day and what you want to do, which could involve any number of hobbies or rotting in your bed. 

There is no space for further learning, you are drained and exhausted. While you’re busy with that, the United States recently voted against a ceasefire in Gaza, according to AP News. This allows for Israel to continue bombing the Gaza Strip completely unchecked. This is just one of the many times that America relied on its citizens’ ignorance so that they can continue to assault the rights of people abroad without facing any repercussions back home. 

It is imperative to pay attention to things that are not happening on American soil. Conflicts and wars might be fought elsewhere, but it is Americans’ tax dollars and soldiers that are being shipped off to back these efforts. 

It is our representatives that we vote for that are making decisions that create a ripple effect around the world. International politics matters specifically because we, in some small way, affect things on a global scale by our vote. If you are thinking about voting for a specific party or person this November, see how they treat other countries before putting their name on the ballot.

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About the Contributors
Carlyann Carey, Opinion Editor
Carlyann (CC) is a junior English major and government and politics minor. This is her first year as the Opinion Editor of the Torch and she is ecstatic to be here! Outside of the Torch, she is a student worker at the Office of Residence Life. When left to her own devices, she likes to go for long runs, stand in line at Dunkin’ for an iced coffee and watch video essays on YouTube while crocheting. CC can be reached at [email protected]
Megan Chapman, Design Editor
Megan is a junior graphic design major with a creative writing minor. This is her second year with the Torch as the Design Editor. Outside of the Torch, she likes writing, running, playing guitar and reading. Her favorite artists are R.E.M. and Elliot Smith. Megan can be reached at [email protected]
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