Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

To rebuild, look abroad

| Nov. 16, 2020

The United States manages relationships with almost 200 nations and, even with a tiny number that are truly enemies, we have almost always found ways to keep engagement alive. With this engagement we position ourselves to be more secure, stable, and influential, through building bridges, finding mutual interests, and creating coalitions. So why can’t we apply the same approach to ourselves, when we have far more in common among 50 states than we do with 200 nations?

It feels like an impossible task: Just days after the presidential election, we’ve intensified antipathies building for more than a decade. Comity feels unreachable, and the coronavirus pandemic makes it worse. With President Trump choosing lawsuits over concession, we’ve moved into uncharted waters, a profound danger that is threatening our very democracy and the core of who we are.

Since the days of our founding, Americans have always come together when attacked. So there are lessons there for attacks against each other. The elements of foreign diplomacy and relationship-building can be applied to rebuild the homeland.

But where to start, when our differences seem intractable and something as simple as a face mask is seen as a political weapon?


For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Pandith, Farah.“To rebuild, look abroad.” The Boston Globe, November 16, 2020.