Arizona State University: How Political Divide Threatens U.S. Foreign Policy

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President Donald Trump’s disagreements with then-national security adviser Lt. Gen. HR McMaster were widely reported during McMaster’s 13 months in the role until he was fired via Twitter . Two years later, McMaster explains how political divisions poison American foreign policy. He will be speaking at ASU on Thursday, October 7 as part of the Civic Speech Project of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. The event is free and open to the public.

“Our country is politically divided and individuals are targeted by disinformation, prejudice and mistrust of democratic institutions,” said McMaster. “This negatively impacts our ability to lead international efforts to bring stabilization and peace to the world, and threatens the confidence necessary for the implementation of an effective foreign policy.”

The Lieutenant General and ASU Distinguished University Fellow HR McMaster will speak at ASU as part of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership Civic Speech Project on Thursday, October 7 at 5 p.m.
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In his talk, McMaster will emphasize the importance of history and civic education in restoring confidence in the country’s democratic institutions and effectively implementing U.S. foreign policy. The lecture begins at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Arizona Ballroom on the Tempe campus. The Civic Discourse Project offers a thoughtful and broad assessment of the challenges of American civic life and its institutions, including the university. This year’s program focuses on “Renewing America’s Civic Compact”.

“Sectors of the American public show low understanding and low confidence in our democratic institutions,” said Paul Carrese, principal of the school. “Our goal at the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership is to foster an interdisciplinary and balanced environment to debate ideas essential to our democracy, and we strive to do so by hosting discussions with the most prominent leaders of the country’s civil service, authors and scholars. ”

The Civic Discourse Project is co-sponsored by the ASU School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and supported by the Jack Miller Center. For more information and to register, visit scetl.asu.edu.

ASU Distinguished University Fellow McMaster is Senior Fellow Fouad and Michelle Ajami at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University. A native of Philadelphia, McMaster graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He served as an army officer for 34 years and retired as a lieutenant general in 2018. He remained in active service while being the 26th assistant to the president for national security affairs. He has taught history at West Point and holds a doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The practice of law is a vocation that requires a variety of interests and skills, a client-centered orientation and an ability to adapt.

It was one of the messages shared with 50 pre-law students Barrett, The Honors College, during the college’s Inn of Court networking event on September 21.

Barrett, The Honors College, alumni Ray Ybarra Maldonado (background, left) and Robert McWhirter (right) discuss practicing law with specialist scholar Michael Stanford (center) at the Inn of Court event of college.
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The event, focused on the legal profession and hosted under the historic Gold Dome of the Vista del Sol complex on the ASU campus in Tempe, attracted 26 honorary alumni from a variety of fields including business, defense criminal, immigration, personal injury and constitutional law, as well as the 50 pre-law students.

A high-profile panel discussion moderated by Faculty Fellow Michael Stanford, who holds a Juris Doctor and practiced law before joining Barrett’s faculty, brought together Barrett graduate Ray Ybarra Maldonado, graduate of Barrett ‘a JD from Stanford University Law School in 2007, and Robert McWhirter. , who graduated from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 1988.

Ybarra Maldonado and McWhirter encouraged students to gain varied experiences as undergraduates that would help them stand out as full applicants in law school applications.

“What is most useful for law school applicants is the diversity and variety of experience. Everyone will have a high GPA and LSAT score. What makes you different? What makes you different? what excites you? ”Ybarra Maldonado said, adding that experiences such as study abroad and community service make applicants stand out in law school applications.

McWhirter said he mentioned his work as a teacher at a Catholic school in Peru in his law school application.

“I think maybe it made me more different and interesting,” he said.

Ybarra Maldonado and McWhirter said there is no typical day in the life of a lawyer. On any day, they can meet with clients, review cases, promote their practices, or give an interview to the media.

But both agreed that one aspect of being a lawyer – customer service – is paramount.

“I have found that the happiest lawyers are those who are client-centered. People who look at the service aspect tend to have more longevity” in the legal profession, said McWhirter.

After the roundtable and dinner, the students participated in a quick networking with lawyers seated at tables.

“Since I specialize in marketing, I was looking for specific business law advice. The lawyers were very keen to give me advice and explain the difference between working for a private law firm and working in-house. for a business, ”said sophomore Sara Sroka.

Sroka, who works in Barrett’s student services department to help coordinate wellness-focused events for students, said she was interested in how lawyers seek wellness and work-life balance.

“Many lawyers have spoken about the importance of well-being as a law student and in the profession itself,” Sroka said. “As a wellness event planner for Barrett, I think the growing trend to build wellness into the professions is a positive reflection of the culture change in society as people want to maintain their sanity. and pursue their careers, regardless of their definition of success.

“I found it particularly interesting when the lawyers spoke about well-being in their careers. When they decided to start a family, they had to decide how to balance their career with their personal life. In addition, they explained whether or not they felt discriminated against. As a woman, I think it is important to recognize the gender barriers that may be placed in my future career path, and how women in the legal field are now fighting for gender equality for future generations. like me .”

Connor Christeson, a freshman at Barrett majoring in finance, aspires to work as a contract lawyer. His mother is a lawyer specializing in estate planning, so he was very close to the profession.

“I have gained a great understanding of the ways in which I can start to create my candidacy for law school, in particular how I can stand out,” he said.

Christeson said he would research the opportunities that the Honors College has to offer to students interested in law, including Project Excellence, a program through which honors students can take courses at ASU Law School and help to apply for competitive national prices like the Fulbright Scholarship.


This press release was produced by Arizona State University. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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