Whether we like it or not, there is a heavy influence on external affairs imposed by United States politicians, from whomever is in office is at the time. This is particularly true in today’s modern era of politics. What are some examples of this? How much of a role does the sitting President have on foreign policy? Where does Congress come in? Let us delve into this topic a bit and find out.
The President, Congress, and External Affairs
Typically, the President of the United States is the one who appears to set forth an agenda on external affairs, and on foreign policy in general.However, when it comes to the “power of the purse,” as it relates to foreign policy, Congress is required to approve it. Congress also must be consulted regarding any trade agreements and, of significant importance, when there is any discussion of matters pertaining to war. It ought to be noted that Congress should never intentionally upstage a sitting president on international affairs, at least not publicly.
Understanding of External Affairs is Critical
The above statement is especially true of the United States President. Before being voted into office, candidates for President MUST display an understanding of foreign policy. He or she needs to know how to approach each international leader, as well as what matters are of importance to them. Additionally, political office-holders must demonstrate they have the type of personality necessary to effectively deal with foreign administrations. These attributes are also true of the candidates for, and current members of, Congress.
Does Public Opinion Play a Role?
Although the public does not make policies when it comes to external affairs, it is understood by politicians that the public should have a say in these matters. If political leaders do not implement the wishes of the people, they can find themselves voted out of office. This is particularly true when it comes to how our leaders treat the leaders of other nations. Therefore, indirectly, the American people do play a role in external affairs.
Other Areas of Importance
When it comes to modern politics and external affairs, from the perspective of the US citizens, there is little as important as protecting human rights. Regardless of whether or not the affected people are American, nothing spurs the public into action more than when others are being abused. This can be mental abuse, emotional abuse, or physical abuse. When someone’s rights are being violated anywhere in the world, the American people expect their leaders to help put an end to it. Evidence of this can be found almost anytime in the news or on the Internet. Check it out for yourself and see.