Welfare or warfare – America’s grim choice in 2016
by John Myers
The direction of the country will make an irreversible pivot in 2016. Already we are living with a gaping chasm between the Republican and the Democratic Party; wider than it was during the 1964 presidential election between President Lyndon Johnson and Senator Barry Goldwater.
We have reached a point where Democrats and Republicans loath each other. They stand in the way of the other’s vision for Americans at home and abroad. The election, I believe, will boil down to a contest between Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio, the socialist and the neocon. Either will make the United States a weaker and more divided country.
Clinton’s lurch to the left
Hillary Clinton once said, “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.”
Many Democrats agree and are bent on transforming the United States into a country like Canada which long ago traded away prosperity and personal freedoms for cradle-to-grave caretaking. It has become the goal of the progressives to accelerate socialist change, and none more so than the Democratic frontrunner Clinton, who is listing to the left faster than the sinking Battleship Bismarck.
Last Friday, Clinton spent the day courting the black vote by meeting with Black Lives Matter to discuss racial justice and law enforcement reform. It was reported that Clinton talked frankly about racism and the long legacy of slavery. The name of the organization is in itself ridiculous when you consider that aside from a few neo-Nazis, everybody believes that black lives matter. The moniker the group adopted is effective at stirring up racial unrest, a specialty of President Barack Obama, which Clinton is adopting.
Clinton has also declared that strengthening gun laws is a centerpiece of her presidential campaign. Her gun lecture came just four days after the shooting that left nine people dead at a community college in Oregon. If necessary, Clinton said she will use executive action as president to expand background check requirements.
And still Clinton slides further to the left on trade. The October 8, 2015 a Dallas Morning News headline read: “Hillary Clinton chooses liberal base over free trade.” The op-ed was about Clinton’s economic flip-flop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal which she earlier said was one of her key accomplishments. Clinton called it the “gold standard” in trade agreements. With one month to go before the final TPP text is published, she announced a change of heart. “As of today,” she told Judy Woodruff, “I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”
That is almost as lame as Clinton’s reversal on gay marriage. She was opposed to it until 2013. She changed her mind because her daughter convinced her it was the right thing to do. This is not surprising when you consider Clinton’s claim that she felt compelled to run for president a second time because of the birth of her granddaughter, Charlotte. What utter nonsense. Clinton has had an overriding ambition for the presidency for more than a decade and she is determined to achieve it.
One thing seems certain: If Clinton is elected, Americans cannot claim they were fooled. In 2007 she said, “I consider myself a proud modern American progressive, and I think that’s the kind of philosophy and practice that we need to bring back to American politics.”
Rubio and the other neocons
Senator Marco Rubio once said, “I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all, who warn we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go ‘abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.’”
The Republican Old Guard has rejected Clinton’s social and economic platform and is in a good position to win the presidency next year. One chink in their armor is the neocons within the party.
Even after the disastrous foreign intervention on Arab lands, more than 5,000 American soldiers killed in combat and close to $2 trillion spent by a Republican neoconservative president, the neocons remain committed to their version of what the Middle East should be.
Thankfully, two Republican presidential candidates reject perpetual warfare; Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who advocates a non-interventionist foreign policy, and apparently, Donald Trump. Trump is one of the few sane opinion makers when it comes to military involvement on Islamic soil.
Trump has pointed out the obvious that few others seem to grasp, that removing Arab dictators has been a losing proposition for the United States. He is in favor of allowing Russia to launch attacks against ISIS in Syria.
The rest of the Republican candidates, to varying degree, contend that America needs a larger military footprint in the Middle East, especially in Syria which carries the risk of a global war now that Russia is launching airstrikes and has committed a small number of combat troops there. Yet even the growing potential for a global war has failed to moderate neocon war drums.
Candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has declared he is his own man who will not be influenced by the foreign policies of his father (former President George H.W. Bush) or his brother (former President George W. Bush). He has even argued that the second Iraq war launched by George W was justified.
Bush has tipped his neocon hat by the advisors he has brought in for his campaign. Last February the Daily Caller wrote:
Paul Wolfowitz tops the list, a man who has served George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Wolfowitz, a prominent neoconservative, was architect to the junior Bush’s strategy to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003. Another Reagan-Bush-Bush advisor on the list, John Negroponte, is a career diplomat who represented George W. Bush both at the U.N. and in Baghdad.
Other advisors include Bush’s brother’s Homeland Security secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, his CIA directors Porter Goss and Michael Hayden, and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley…
And then there is Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, who failed in her 2010 Senate bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. Her poll numbers rose dramatically following a good performance at the second Republican Presidential debate. To date, little has been made of her reckless foreign policy statements.
Earlier this month, Fiorina told Sean Hannity at Fox News that the U.S. “must be prepared” to shoot down Russian jets in Syria, if that’s what it takes to protect U.S.-backed rebels fighting Assad.
“I believe we must tell the Russians that we will conduct, we will secure a no-fly zone around anti-Assad rebel forces that we’re supporting,” said Fiorina
When asked if she as President might use military force against Russia Fiorina said, “Well, hopefully not. Hopefully, if we are signaling clearly to the Russians our intention, it will not come to that. But if it does come to that, I think we must be prepared.”
Fiorina received little criticism from fellow Republican candidates for her position but how can they be critical of a neocon that thinks much like they do.
All of which will leaves America with two bad choices next November; a Democrat who will implement bigger government and usurp what personal freedoms remain, or a Republican neoconservative who will perpetuate foreign military actions.