The agenda of Wesley Clark.

Politics and policy.
Sept. 18 2003 6:01 PM

The Agenda of Wesley Clark

What he'd do as president.

Wesley Clark

Slate has been running several series of short features explaining who the 2004 presidential candidates are, what they're saying, and where they propose to take the country. The "Agenda" series outlined what each candidate would do as president. Candidates take positions on many issues, but once in the White House, a president tends to focus on the few issues he or she really cares about. The purpose of this series is to identify those issues and clarify how the candidate, as president, would address them. Today's subject is Wesley Clark, who entered the race on Wednesday.

1. Internationalize U.S. foreign policy. Clark strongly favors collaboration with allies, even if he has to get 19 nations to approve individual bombing targets, as he did during NATO's war in Kosovo. In a speech to the New Democrat Network on June 17, 2003, Clark proposed a foreign policy based on three ideas. The first is idealistic engagement: "We started the ball rolling, the ball of revolution that's passed across the Atlantic and is sweeping across the world. … We proselytize. We sell our ideas." The second is reliance on international organizations. Even when the United States had a monopoly on nuclear weapons and half the world's gross domestic product, said Clark, we nurtured the United Nations because "America wasn't strong enough to go it alone." Third, force should be used "only as a last resort" because it has vast "unintended consequences." Clark cited postwar Iraq as an illustration.

2. Stimulate the economy. On June 15, 2003, Clark said on Meet the Press that he opposed Bush's tax cuts because they "weren't fair," "were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need," and ran up the deficit. Two days later, Clark called for a "demand stimulus," which he said should be targeted at people in need and should be limited in order to keep the deficit under control. He also proposed to stimulate small-business investment "through tax incentives where necessary."

3. Invest in the environment, education, health, and retirement. In his June 17 speech, Clark extrapolated from the supervision of soldiers to the supervision of civilians. Under the rubric of "investing in human potential," he said he had worked to give his troops better housing, better health care, better schools for their children, and time off to be with their families. In the civilian realm, he called for environmental protection, investment in education (especially better pay for teachers), and sounder long-term financing of retirement and health care.

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 10:23 AM From Fringe to Mainstream: How We Learned to Panic About Terrorists Crossing the Border
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
The Vault
Sept. 18 2014 9:57 AM “The Sun Never Sets Upon the British Empire,” Explained in GIF by an Old Children’s Toy
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Sept. 18 2014 8:53 AM The Other Huxtable Effect Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 10:07 AM “The Day It All Ended” A short story from Hieroglyph, a new science fiction anthology.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?