Is foreign policy the main issue for voters heading into 2020? For the Democratic base, the top priority is ousting President Donald Trump by any means necessary, even if that is casting a ballot for a far-left candidate or sticking with a Swamp establishment creature. While the men and women vying for the nomination squabble over minute details regarding free stuff, there seems to be a broad consensus among the presidential contenders – minus a couple – of maintaining an interventionist foreign policy.
The all-female team of NBC/MSNBC debate moderators questioned Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and her criticism of Hillary Clinton as the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.” Gabbard then responded that the donkeys are no longer the party “of, for, and by the people.” In an obvious attempt to renew the rivalry and give her an opportunity for retribution, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was asked for her thoughts, even though it had nothing to do with Harris whatsoever.
While the two ladies sparring was meant to capture headlines, the quarrel and her subsequent foreign policy comments exposed Harris as someone who will inevitably continue the status quo.
Sen. Harris slammed Gabbard for appearing on Fox News and calling out former President Barack Obama and other Democrats for pushing regime change wars. This was ironic because she later spoke with a Fox News reporter following the debate. She also grieved that Gabbard and President Donald Trump are engaging with adversaries. Harris was ostensibly upset that Trump opened the dialogue with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and has been even more perturbed that the U.S. and South Korea ended joint military exercises in the region.
Unfortunately for Americans who value peace over war, Harris has followed other Democrats in goading Russia and North Korea. Rather than celebrate potential positive diplomatic relations with Pyongyang and Moscow, Harris has depicted the process as some odious scheme concocted by the president. Like every other mainstream politician, she wants to have her cake and eat it too. On one hand, Harris claims that she wants to remove troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. On the other, she says that it is important to do so responsibly and to listen to the generals. In other words, expect an indefinite stay.
What makes this laughable is that Harris believes President Trump is the greatest threat to national security. Yet, she refused to put her convictions on display, choosing to vote for the $677 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018. She also abstained from casting a vote on a massive $750 billion defense authorization bill for next year.
If you think the Commander in Chief poses a risk to the safety and security of a nation, wouldn’t you want to ensure that person does not get an extra nickel in defense money?
In another moment that involved Gabbard, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s record and experience were a bit more scrutinized by his rivals during the debate. She called out Buttigieg’s recent ideas to send U.S. troops to Mexico to fight the drug cartels, which he argued were comments taken out of context. According to Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to the top of some latest polls, troops would be sent to Mexico as part of security cooperation and not as an invasion.
The two veterans got into a back-and-forth spat about diplomatic engagement. Like Harris, the mayor took a jab at Gabbard’s meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2007, saying he would have had “enough judgment that I would not have sat down with a murderous dictator.” Gabbard shot back noting that Buttigieg “would lack the courage to meet with both adversaries and friends to ensure peace and national security of our nation,” referencing Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.
This has been a common theme in this primary season: It is bad to speak with the enemy or someone who might be unfriendly toward the United States. The Democrats and the media continually harp on Gabbard’s conference with Assad, which suggests that they believe the U.S. should isolate adversarial states.
Were the Democrats and the mainstream press always this hostile to diplomacy? Not always. In 2007, when he was running for president, Obama conceded that he would be “willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of an administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries.”
The sudden change of heart could be because Trump and some Republicans are the ones who are trying to initiate peace negotiations.
War is hell and having a loved one serving in the military can be a stressful experience every day. There is a constant anxiety that you will be told that your parent, spouse, sibling, or best friend was killed in combat. It is devastating and ruins lives. The best way to celebrate troops and to honor veterans is to stop sending brave young men and women overseas to fight in these endless wars that do nothing for America’s national security.
When asked if more Americans should serve in the military, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she thinks so. Warren, who had three brothers serve in the military, posited that “it’s an important part of who we are as Americans and I think the notion of shared service is important.” She then went into some nostalgic bit about her mother checking the mailbox and waiting for letters from her sons.
“And if there was a letter, she was brighter than the day. And if there wasn’t, she would say, well, maybe tomorrow.
This is about building for our entire nation. And I believe we should do that. I also believe we should have other service opportunities in this country.”
This sounds like the language of the local PTA leader working at a neoconservative think-tank in the Swamp and trying to muster enrollment numbers so kids can die in vain overseas. The preferable answer would have been: Not one soldier more until we end these wasteful and endless regime change wars that obliterate lives, destabilize regions, and exacerbate the destruction of the last 30 years.
Sen. Warren’s foreign policy is vague, using the same platitudes as she does on taxes or health care: “U.S. foreign policy should not prioritize corporate profits over American lives.” At a recent CNN debate, Gabbard attempted to ask Warren a serious question about what makes her qualified to be Commander in Chief, but the debate moderators cut her off and went to a commercial break.
Warren is, at best, a moderate hawk and will employ a foreign policy vision that pleases the globalists. She lacks anti-war convictions that will keep the U.S. from embarking upon another adventure of seeking dragons to slay.
Has President Trump’s foreign policy been perfect? Nope, not by a long shot. Has it been an improvement from his predecessors? Certainly – if only for the simple fact that he has not started any new wars. And this is what seems to bother his opponents because the Nobel Peace Prize winner launched and expanded wars. Foreign policy has attracted far less attention in the primaries, and most of the candidates do not possess any original ideas on ending conflicts and hostilities. They seem content on permanent intervention, neo-isolationism, and expanding the presidency’s militarism power.
What happened to the Democrats? The façade of anti-war and pro-civil liberties and being a friend of the middle-class has vanished. They will not even pretend to be against militarism and the Patriot Act, and their disdain for flyover folk remains ubiquitous. The only identifying traits of the Democrats are their hatred of the president and their love of free stuff. That could be the slogan in 2020: Hate Trump, Love the [Deep] State.
Read more from Andrew Moran.