Watching President Barack Obama deliver his commencement address at the US Military Academy, it's easy to be reminded that he has discussed themes of human rights, multilateral engagement, and global thinking since before his presidency even began. As a global citizen, I want to see a president who recognizes our common humanity – and sees the danger in ignoring global problems. But if we're hoping for a cosmopolitan foreign policy, by what rubric do we grade this or any administration's performance?
A quick reminder: cosmopolitanism is the idea that everyone, everywhere is morally equal, and that we all belong to one worldwide community. Cosmopolitanism doesn't mean the end of local or national communities or the formation of a world state: it’s primarily about membership in that global community. The more strongly you hold that belief, the more likely you are to actively promote the well-being of people around the world.
A cosmopolitan foreign policy can do some of the heavy lifting for you. In a liberal democracy, governments are expected to enact the policy preferences of their constituents. As a cosmopolitan, you have the right and the duty to demand that your government act in a way that reflects the fundamental moral equality of all humans.
Some expectations might include: