The 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Intervention Meter – Economic, Use of Force, Personal Liberty
The Presidential Candidate Intervention Meter is based on an analysis of proposals made by the candidates between August and December 14, 2015. It scores each proposal for the use of force according to how expansive, expensive, or entangling it is.
Most would probably agree that this year’s race has already exceeded expectations in terms of sheer entertainment value, but as we head into January the presidential campaign season will really start to heat up. Foreign policy is poised to play an even bigger than expected role in this election, thanks to the many fires burning across the globe. In particular, of course, every candidate will have to explain how he or she intends to grapple with the mess in the Middle East. Unfortunately, as we heard during the most recent debates, most of the answers so far involve more American military intervention.
Over at the Council on Foreign Relations, Micah Zenko has started keeping track of all the candidates’ calls for the use of force. The Presidential Candidates Use of Force Tracker, as he calls it, is a wonderful public service, providing voters with an easy way to compare the candidates’ proposals for intervening in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. What’s missing, however, is an even quicker way to compare just how interventionist one candidate is compared to the others.
In order to simplify the data provided by Zenko and his research associate, Amelia M. Wolf, I have created a scoring system so we can compare the candidates more easily. I call it the“Presidential Candidate Intervention Meter.” The Intervention Meter is based on an analysis of proposals made between August and December 14, 2015 and quantifies each candidate’s interventionist position by scoring each proposal for the use of force according to how expansive, expensive, or entangling it is. A call for the major use of ground force, for example, earns more points than a call for the limited use of Special Forces. Likewise, carpet-bombing proposals score higher than calls for air support of Iraqi troops (the scoring rules follow at the end of this post).
2016 republican presidential candidates liberty ratings