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Defending our Country and Restoring US Leadership

April 30, 2019

Former Congressman John K. Delaney (D-MD 6th District) and 2020 Democratic candidate for US president
Opening remarks by Vali Nasr, Dean

Throughout his public service career, Congressman Delaney represented Maryland’s 6th district in the House of Representatives from 2013 and 2019 and was known for shaping and influencing some of the most important policy issues of our time. Now as a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Delaney joined the school for a discussion on the most pressing global challenges facing the United States and how to restore the nation’s leadership when resurgent nationalism and populism are questioning the post-WWII liberal world order the US helped to build.

The upcoming presidential election takes place against the backdrop of significant changes in and outside the United States, with Asia now rivaling the West as the world’s center of gravity and with new challenges posed by profound technological progress. In the context of these trends, instead of focusing on how the US can mitigate these disruptive risks and build a better world in the future, Americans are facing the prospect of another four years of highly divisive politics.

“Today we see the first generation of Americans that haven’t done better than their parents,” Delaney noted. “In many ways, the failure to reform our own economic system has led to current misguided approach to foreign policy.”

In order to safeguard the global security architecture, Delaney emphasized the importance of “responsible leadership” to reflect US economic weight in the global community while advancing American values and interests at home and abroad. Delaney concluded his remarks with a call for the kind of American leadership that strives to find common ground based on shared truths and owns responsibilities as Americans instead of seeking to assign blame for the problems of the past.

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