...One thing that attracts me to the left, especially the radical, socialist left, is that there is strong sense of internationalism. That is, there is a sense that we have a duty to fight for the well-being and rights of those outside our borders as well as inside, since their well-being is inextricably bound up with our own. I think Martin Luther King Jr. said something to the effect of "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Global poverty and inequality isn't just a moral outrage, it's a genuine threat to the lives of people everywhere as Mike Davis points out in an interview with Alan Maass. Having these massive ghettos stretching over vast expanses of the "Global South" is a recipe for disaster, for obvious reasons. Davis states, "1 billion people [are] living in slums in the cities of the South--unparalleled concentrations of poor people in unsanitary conditions, many of them with immune system disorders. It’s hard to imagine a more nightmarish disease scenario."
Aside from that, while so many people are living in penury in the Third World, it increases the global capitalist oligarchs' opportunities for exploitation and has a correlative effect of depressing the wages and deteriorating the working conditions of people all over the world. Michael Parenti wrote a provocative essay for CovertAction Quarterly back in 2002 which connects the fall of Communism with the global rollback of the rights and gains of workers everywhere that we saw throughout the 90s and which continues today unabated at breakneck speed.
However, global poverty and injustice is being exacerbated, if not institutionalized by institutions and agreements which Clinton openly and vociferously supported during his two terms; i.e. NAFTA, WTO, IMF, the World Bank, etc. I had absolutely no reason to believe that Kerry or Gore would have done it differently – (while we’re on the subject of poverty, Gore, as noted by Stephen Pimpare in his book The New Victorians,, was a key player in getting Clinton’s vicious welfare reform passed, which led to sharp increases in child poverty in the U.S. as Paul Street pointed out in a speech at the Work, Welfare and Families Annual Summit on Low-Income Families).
Global poverty and suffering did not decrease under Clinton (and we know it increased markedly in Iraq as he specifically intended) and we also know that they would not have decreased under a Gore or Kerry administration, given the irrefragable fact that they received (and still receive) millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the very industries and oligarchs who profit from this system (Ralph Nader pointed out during his debate with Howard Dean that Bush and Kerry's top 10 donors were more or less the same companies - primarily the banking and finance moguls).
Democrats and Republicans are indistinguishable in their desire to maintain the U.S.'s position as the world's economic core and to keep the countries of Africa, Asia and Central/South America in the periphery, functioning as extraction economies. (I still find Immanuel Wallerstein's World Systems Theory to be the best lens through which one can properly examine the capitalist system).
Aside: Consistent with Michael and JSP's Orthrian theory, one great example of how the Democrats actively promote their own demise, as well as the demise of informed citizenship, was demonstrated by John Kerry's active support for the further monopolization of the telecommunications industry ( his biggest donor during the 2004 campaign). Ironically, I still read tons of articles by liberals that decry the increasingly "right-wing" orientation of the media...