The USS Carl Vinson’s recent port call in Vietnam was an historic event, yet it is the exception and not the rule of an administration that has relied on bellicose threats, knee-jerk policy pronouncements, and a withdrawal from global leadership as tent poles of its global agenda. The dispute over the South China Sea—which is part of a larger discussion of China’s increasing influence in the region in the face of A...merica’s retrenchment—is no doubt driving this exercise of soft power. The South China Sea dispute, in which six countries have advanced competing territorial claims to waterways and resources, is a significant national security issue and one that should be part of the discussion during the 2018 elections. The South China Sea is among the most complicated and challenging security questions that we face and we cannot solve it by driving other nations into the arms of China, tweeting, or allowing conservatives to equate muscle flexing and bluster with strong foreign policy. We need to exercise more soft power (not less), and in the past year our reserves are dwindling.
With the constant vitriol in our political discourse, ineffective and corrupt representatives, and never-ending cycles of violence, bigotry, and hate at home, it is an all-consuming task to focus on the domestic challenges facing our body politic. However, as someone who has spent years focused military and foreign policy, I am equally if not more concerned about the long-term effects the current Administration wi...ll have on America’s global standing, influence, and security. As progressives, we must advocate for tough, smart national security solutions and never forget that America is at its strongest when we—in concert with our allies—use all the tools in our toolbox to defend, support, and lead free people and just societies.
If you read Article II of the Constitution, you should be struck by how much of the President’s job description is focused on advancing America’s interests beyond her borders. In the wake of rising isolationism, tribalism, and the “America-First (and only) ideology driving what can charitably be described as our current foreign “policy,” I have been wanting to talk more about how we can advance an internationalist worldview that built America as a force for global progress. Considering the President’s apparent eagerness to start a trade war, I figured I would start with the subject of trade.
The Trump Administration’s abrupt decision to introduce steel and aluminum tariffs is an unsurprisingly careless and stupid decision. But, this Administration has already taken many steps back from the United States’ historic position in favor of strong, principled international trade agreements. Trade can create negative and often unintended consequences—and we must always look critically at the effect our trade agreements have at home—but it is nevertheless crucial that we play a leadership role in setting the terms of global trade to minimize damage and ensure that agreements benefit all. As the President withdraws from a position of global leadership other countries will fill the vacuum and America will be left in a crouch, lashing out with unilateral protectionist tactics such as the latest tariff proposal. Well-crafted trade agreements allow us to contain our rivals. In today’s globally-interconnected age, security and economic prosperity are intertwined and stubborn incompetence will do little to keep us safe or prosperous. Starting a trade war will not help.
The unprecedented and dangerous politicization of intelligence must stop immediately. I would have preferred neither partisan memo be released, but you can’t release one and not the other and claim it is about anything other than politics. https://t.co/ahGSHM3LQ8
Sarah and I have been blessed with a baby boy. Hayes MacKaye Harrington was born on Friday (9 lbs., 2 oz.). Mommy and Hayes are doing great, and Jack Jr. could not be happier to be a big brother. Thank you to the amazing doctors, nurses, and staff at Stony Brook University Hospital's NICU!
While I am grateful to have comprehensive insurance affording such remarkable medical care, this weekend was also a stark reminder of the millions of Americans who are not so lucky. We must keep fighting to ensure that every American receives adequate health care--it is a human right.
Today forces me to give pause and reflect, as I seldom do, on the remarkable life and legacy of Dr. King. At thirty-three, he penned his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It is almost impossible to comprehend how anyone--especially one so young--could be blessed simultaneously with such humility, faith, and awe-inspiring vision. If you haven't read the letter, please take a moment to read this excerpt. Dr. King both defined and transcended the time in which he lived. The ...lessons of this letter are as relevant today as they were in 1963: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. . . . Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider." Whether we are speaking of the "dreamers" here at home or the Rohingya half way around the world in Burma, injustice anywhere affects us all everywhere, and it is criminal for our leaders to sit idly by in the face of such injustice.
Yes, President Trump's "shithole" comments were racist, ignorant, and the latest in a long list of moments both demeaning to people and the Presidency itself. But, we also must remember that in the process of insulting one-quarter of all countries, President Trump's actions continue to shrink America's role in the world. China is the largest investor in Africa and President Xi has made a $60 billion capital commitment to the continent. Comments like these are a gift to our ...strategic competitors and other nations seeking to assert greater influence in the world; countries whose interests may not be aligned with our own. President Trump's comments are not only reprehensible on their face, but they undermine our diplomats, weaken U.S. business and trade interests, and even endanger our military service members overseas.
Happy New Year! This past year has been marked with highs and lows, accomplishments and disappointments, hard work, laughter, and joy. I feel blessed to have spent six months learning more about the town in which I grew up, making new friends, and witnessing the devotion of so many people who gave of their time and resources to make our region a better place. As we enter 2018, I hope everyone—regardless of ideological affiliation—will find a way to engage in his or her com...munity. We need that engagement now more than ever! I fear that the new tax law will have terrible consequences across Long Island and I see an America shrinking from its role as the leader of the liberal democratic order. Leadership is in short supply in our nation, which is why it is incumbent upon everyone to stand up and get involved. Enjoy today's celebration and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!
There was a great turnout at the inaugural meeting of the North Shore Democratic Club! Thank you to former Congressman Tim Bishop for offering inspiring and educational remarks and to Mike Goodman, Lori Baldassari, and everyone else who organized tonight’s event. This is exactly the type of organization and enthusiasm we need to take back Congress in 2018!
I have much for which to be thankful today, especially my wife, Sarah, and son, Jack Jr. It is easy to get caught-up in the day-to-day hustle of life, work, and family and lose sight of our blessings. In a country as rich and strong as the United States, we can never forget about our ongoing obligation to those less fortunate. From our family to yours, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We may have come up short last night, but I am exceptionally proud of what we achieved together during these few short months.
I want to thank all my supporters who shared our common vision for Brookhaven’s future, and who gave so selflessly of their time and resources. To my fellow candidates, who inspired me by their example to keep fighting and whom I am proud to call friends. To those who helped lead our efforts across Brookhaven, especially Lillian Clayman—our Chair—...Lori Baldassare, Eva Greguski, and the rest of the Town Committee. I am especially grateful to my team, Alan Weinberg, Zach Baum, and—in particular—Andrew Brockwell who kept me motivated and focused throughout.
Finally, I want to thank my family. To my father, Douglas, and my sister, Sterling, for their support on and off the campaign trail. To my son, Jack Jr., who doesn’t yet understand what Daddy has been doing these past months, but whose face lifted me up on those tough days. Most importantly, I want to thank my wife and best friend, Sarah, who has always encouraged me to pursue my passions and without whom I would not have purpose in this life.
Robert Kennedy said that “each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends for a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
I truly believe that we sent out a ripple of hope across Brookhaven. And I, for one, intend to keep fighting to ensure that the ripple continues across our Town, as I believe that Brookhaven’s best days still lie ahead.
Thank you all for being a part of this journey. I will be forever in your debt.
The polls are open! I am extremely proud of this campaign and we would not be here today, poised for victory, without your support.
I need to ask you for one more thing . . . please VOTE! Then, once you’ve voted, call your friends, knock on your neighbors' doors, help drive someone to the polls, and explain to everyone you meet why you are voting for the Brookhaven Town Democratic ticket.
I know that we have a positive vision for Brookhaven’s future, and a plan to make ...that vision a reality. We are so close to getting the government we deserve. Thank you for all your help over the course of the past five months.
Let’s move Brookhaven forward!
In 2015 we elected our Supervisor, our highest office, with just 18% turnout. That means that less than 1 in 5 voters participated. Frankly, that's embarrassing and we can do so much better.
Please make sure you vote, make sure your family votes and make sure your friends do too.
We didn't get a chance to post this yesterday, the office was so packed with volunteers that we just didn't have a chance.
It was great spending some time with Tim Bishop. I'm so humbled by your support and I'd like to let you know that with your help we knocked on the doors of over 1.5k voters yesterday! (imagine how much we did when you add the other offices)
We'll be in the office the next 3 days and need your help. Come down to 757 Horseblock Rd in Farmingville or call 631-689-7315! Let's go turn Brookhaven Blue!