The Republican party has split, and largely based on worldview; neoconservative globalists versus Trump’s notion of ‘America First.’
Make no mistake about it, while Hillary is not a registered Republican, she does prescribe to the foreign policy of neo-conservatism, and has been actively courting Bush donors. Concerning foreign policy, Clinton is much more like Bush than Trump. Her campaign even keeps an active list of establishment Republicans that have rejected Trump.
Bill Kristol and Max Boot and been seeking alternatives to the GOP nominee, even threatening to support Hillary. For the first time in many years, a Republican will be ‘left’ of the Democratic nominee on the issue of war.
In a speech in Washington State, Trump expressed that concerning “foreign policy, Hillary is trigger happy…She’s got a bad temperament,” and that “her decisions in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya have cost trillions of dollars, thousands of lives and have totally unleashed ISIS.”
Trump has been an outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, nation building, and military intervention. He has also showed a significant amount of skepticism in U.S. involvement with NATO as well as the Syrian Civil War. Hillary may have foreign policy experience, but its experience that will go down in history as part of a failed endeavor for empire.
Trump went as far as to say that “if we would’ve done nothing…we would’ve been in much better shape.” Concerning Russian relations, Trump also said that he would like to “seek common ground based on shared interests” and that he believed that the “easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia…is possible.”
Like all things Trump, the media is attempting to parallel ‘America First’ with anti-Semitism. Trump has been criticized for not expressing unwavering support for the State of Israel and his statements have been consistently compared to those of Hitler, but what does ‘America First’ really mean?
‘America First’ represents that the policies of priority should reflect the priorities of the people of America, first. Trump explained that, as president, he would “view the world through the clear lens of American interests,” adding that “our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction…war and aggression will not be my first instinct.”
The pre-World War II ‘America First’ movement was vastly popular among the mainstream. It was not until attacks on Pearl harbor that citizens felt the need to defend America. Until the attacks by the Japanese, the U.S. was not threatened.
Pat Buchanan explained that “by keeping America out of World War II until Hitler attacked Stalin in June 1941, Soviet Russia, not America, bore the brunt of the fighting, bleeding and dying to defeat Nazi Germany.” This short window of non-interventionism helped save American blood and treasure.
Now fast forward to the ‘Global War on Terror,’ where similar calls are being made to intervene in the affairs of sovereign nations that pose not direct threat to the U.S.
An article by the National Priorities Project debunks the myth that America needs a bigger military budget. The military industrial complex has had the chance to address infrastructure issues, but has instead chosen to spend its massive budget on expensive failures like the F-35 fighter jet. They will continue to make these mistakes with a bigger budget until the priorities of the military apparatus change.
A study by the Pentagon concluded that “the military will have an overall 22 percent excess of base capacity in 2019.” However congress disagrees, for many representatives depend on base funding for re-election. This is where the notion of ‘America First’ comes into play; the policy should be to first shut down bases abroad, not at home. This is the difference between military spending and defense spending. Foreign aid and Military spending abroad have gotten way out of control, while basic defense spending has been neglected.
Empire’s are expensive to manage, just ask “The Empire in the Mirror.” The Roman empire conquered, spent and poke bee hives. By spreading their military too thin, the empire became porous and insolvent, until its demise at the hands of the barbarians. Edward Gibbon, whose first volume of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” was appropriately published in the British empire in 1776. The lesson has still not been learned, as America has embarked on its own endeavor for empire.
According to Michael Scheuer, in 2016 the U.S. government’s Foreign Aid Program is giving $2.93 million per hour to foreigners. In addition, the Department of Defense, will give to foreigners, in the form of Foreign Military Assistance, $1.42 million per hour. These two programs together spend taxpayer money at the rate of more than $104 million per day, which will come to a total of more than $38 billion in foreign aid for 2016.
This “aid” rarely reaches the people who need it, and is most often is given to tyrants. Diplomacy is preferable to bombs and bribes. ‘America First’ will be a better deal, not just for America, but for the world.
The original selling point of neo-conservatism was to make the world safe for democracy, summed up by Max Boot as “American might to promote American ideals.”
The U.S. now financially and militarily supports tyrannical dictatorships and theocracies while simultaneously neglecting our own interests. It’s time for ‘America First.’