As the presidential campaign season slowly inches towards the inevitable day of election on November 8th, it is important to consider not just what the candidates say and what they propose but also the feasibility of that rhetoric. It’s fine to agree with the positions and policies of one candidate over another. It’s necessary to vote. But don’t just consider if you agree, consider if that position, if that policy can actually happen.
Presidents are never able to fulfill all their campaign promises. Some because of political considerations: political capital, financial feasibility, partisan polarization, divided government, etc. However, some things will not get done simply because they can’t be done. It is not a question of a president’s will or ability. Some things won’t get done no matter how hard a president and his government tries.
This is especially true when it comes to foreign policy because foreign policy necessarily relies on other people. A lot of time and effort goes into foreign policy and its problems. And for years different presidents have promised solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict, to nuclear weapons, to American allies, and more recently to terrorism. But don’t get distracted and enticed by solutions which will never be. Don’t vote based on policies which will never come to fruition.
Don’t vote for unicorns.