Welcome to our new Thursday newsletter, a roundup of stories about politics and the 2020 election that we think will interest, challenge and even provoke you.

Our goal on the politics desk is to provide readers like you with greater context for the news of the day. We won’t tell you what to think of something – we are independent and nonpartisan – but we will arm you with the facts and history to help you evaluate what’s going on in the often confounding and sometimes crazy world of politics.

This week we’ve got a story that presents the surprising fact – at least to those of us who aren’t lawyers or constitutional scholars – that “the framers of the Constitution never mentioned a right to vote,” nor did they add one to the Bill of Rights. We have an analysis of the various moves President Donald Trump has made under the banner of his “America First” foreign policy. There’s a history of a surprisingly QAnon-like political movement that elected some members to the U.S. Congress 200 years ago, and a description of the enormous burden mail-in voting means not just for the Post Office, but for the approximately 8,000 local election offices across the country.

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Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Voters in Nashville, Tennessee, faced long lines in March 2020. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

The right to vote is not in the Constitution

Morgan Marietta, University of Massachusetts Lowell

The framers of the Constitution never mentioned a right to vote. They didn't forget. They intentionally left it out.

As president, Trump has cultivated close relations with autocratic leaders while distancing the U.S. from its traditional allies in Europe and Asia. Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images

Trump’s foreign policy is still ‘America First’ – what does that mean, exactly?

Klaus W. Larres, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In 2016 Trump promised to 'shake the rust off America's foreign policy.' Four years later, it's clearer what that looks like: a US that sits on the sidelines of world crises and collaborations alike.