WHEN she launched her campaign to unseat Senator Chris Coons in Delaware, Jess Scarane may have been hoping to emulate the progressive success of those who came before her.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t appear to stand much of a chance against Joe Crowley two years ago, nor did Jamaal Bowman against Eliot Engel in June.
But both campaigns – especially the latter – saw anti-war progressives go up against incumbents seemingly nonchalant about US incursions abroad.
Chris Coons – described as the “GOP’s favourite Democrat” in 2018 – has shown blind spots in his foreign policy positions since being elected a decade ago, most recently rejecting Bernie Sanders’ proposal to reduce the Pentagon’s budget by 10 percent.
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To Jess Scarane, a tech industry veteran hoping to become the first woman to represent Delaware in the Senate, money currently spent on wars should be funnelled to ordinary Americans.
“The principle of our priorities is important to Delawareans,” she told Redaction Politics.
“When we have people in our state who are struggling to get by every single month, when we have more people living in poverty in our state than when Senator Coons took office, and people look at the priorities of the federal government, they see billions and billions of dollars continuing to feed this military machine – yet they can’t get a leg up.
“That does have an impact on people, and they certainly should care about that – and they do.
“It’s not solely about the moment of crisis right now; that crisis existed far before coronavirus, and we need to, as a country, ask what our priorities are and build a budget around the working people of our country so they can live a dignified standard of life.
“If you’re struggling, and see a government that is letting you continue to struggle, yet is putting all its money into military, there is a real disconnect there.”
Senator Coons has publicly backed military action against Iran, and urged the Obama administration to impose sanctions on Tehran as soon as possible in 2016.
Last year, he did not vote in landmark Senate attempt to require President Trump to seek congressional approval for military action in Iran.
But Delawarean voters shouldn’t only care about the bloated Pentagon budget because it could go to better causes, Mrs Scarane said.
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The moral reasons behind electing representatives who will push US foreign policy away from imperialism and towards international co-operation are also key.
She said: “More broadly, people recognise that we have created a global system of oppression that is exacerbating inequality throughout the globe and is only benefitting the wealthy and corporations.
“The money we put towards the military budget is indicative of our behaviour as a whole, and people are trying to recognise that we can invest differently, spend less on these unnecessary wars and focus on taking care of each other.
“It’s a matter of choosing to do it, it’s not impossible.”
Naturally, she said, she would have voted with Senator Sanders – perhaps a more reflective vote of what the Delawarean electorate wanted.
“10 percent is around the amount of money that the budget has increased since Donald Trump took office”, Mrs Scarane told Redaction Politics.
“This has been a real point of frustration for quite a few people, particularly when we have Democrats who use their time in the media to tell us just how dangerous a President he is.
“Yet, they have voted consistently to increase the military budget and his authority over it every year.
“This includes giving him a space force, funding for the border wall and those are votes that my opponent has made.
“We are talking about the funding for the military-industrial complex at the expense of everyone in our country, especially now when Americans are suffering.”
Jess Scarane is running in Delaware’s Senate Democratic Primary on September 15. For more information on her campaign, visit http://www.jessfordelaware.com.
Featured Image: Jess Scarane Campaign
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