When it comes to what is being done to not just the Middle East, for example, but to American credibility. The fact that right now people who put their lives on the line, trusting that the United States would have their back, and are now betrayed, the fact that U.S. troops in the field feel that their honor has been stolen from them by their commander in chief, how can you not be fired up about something like that? And this is the season for us to lay out what we care about, what we’re passionate about, and what’s different among each of the candidates. And I want to make sure there’s no question in any voter’s mind how their life would be different under my presidency than if any of the others were to be elected.
We know that we need to promote stability, that we need to stand by our allies and that there will be legitimate Turkish security concerns that will also be part of the equation. But right now what’s happening is the future over there is being decided by everybody but the United States. Russia, Iran, Turkey. And we are nowhere because American leadership has been withdrawn. And the implications of this aren’t just the regional security picture in the Middle East. It’s the credibility of the United States ourselves. And the first order of business will be to restore U.S. credibility. Not just with regard to the Middle East but globally.
Well, right now what we’ve got to do is engage Turkey as an ally. You know, I served alongside Turkish troops in Afghanistan. That alliance is important. And it’s leverage for us to make sure that we use our influence to prevent bad outcomes like the one that Donald Trump greenlighted that they’re doing right now. If they don’t act like an ally in the long-run, that’s going to have consequences.
I think that we have a chance to build an American majority around bold action. But it is the case that we could wreck that majority through purity tests. Look, take the example of this Medicare question. I’m proposing Medicare for all who want it. It means we create a version of Medicare, everybody can get access to it, and if you get — if you want to keep your private plan, we’re okay with that. I think that’s a better policy than kicking people off of their plan.But I also think that it’s something that more Americans can get behind. And when you think about the condition our country’s going to be in when this presidency comes to an end, one way or the other, when you think about how torn apart by politics we’re going to be, how polarized and divided this country is, this, to me, is not a political question, it’s a question of governing. The good news is, we can govern in a very bold and forward-leading direction, but we’ve got to make sure we do it in a way that moves toward unifying rather than further polarizing the American people.