For a nation that has gone to war as much as the United States, surprisingly few American Presidents have been elected, failed to win a second term or been impeached because of a matter of foreign policy.
Had Lyndon B. Johnson decided to run in the 1968 Presidential election he may well have lost in part due to the failures of the war in Vietnam, but ultimately he did not run, the Democrats did not choose the anti-war Eugene McCarthy and by the day of the election Robert F. Kennedy, another peace candidate was dead, the victim of a callous assassination.
Warren G. Harding’s victory in 1920 was less about a rejection of a Democratic party that got America entangled in European affairs than it was about a broader rejection of a progressive movement that had strayed too far into big government. The Republicans promised a “return to normalcy” and the people were happy to make that return.
Reagan did not win because of his Cold War or anti-Iran rhetoric, he won because Jimmy Carter was widely believed to be economically incapable.
Likewise, far from even trying to leave office on a legacy of peace, Bill Clinton started two wars to get his very domestic Monica Lewinsky scandal off the headlines, first by bombing Iraq in 1998 and then by bombing Yugoslavia in 1999.
To this end, people in the anti-war, pro-multi-polar conservative movement ought not to kid themselves about why Donald Trump won. He did not win because he said he wanted peace, he did not win because he said no to ideology and regime change, and no he did not win because of Wikileaks and Seth Rich (aka Russia).
Donald Trump won because he said that globalism was a sham that saw jobs, wages and living standards decrease. He won because he said no to the tyranny of leftist censorship (aka political correctness), he won because he was human and Hillary Clinton was robotic. It was as simple as that.
This goes a long way in helping to understand why on the domestic front, President Trump is generally delivering. His war with the mainstream media has become more impassioned since taking office, he still insists on building a border wall and keeping possible terrorists out of the country, he will soon replace Obamacare and likely also get his very wise tax cuts passed.
By contrast, his foreign policy is a shambles. His Syria policy has gone from confused to violent and back again, his policy on North Korea is even worse and his rhetoric on Iran and Israel is worrying for anyone concerned with the plight of world peace.
In some ways, Trump’s foreign policy is now worse than Obama’s in the sense that Obama simply acted as though it was a given that he was the king of the hegemonic uni-polar world (which still exists in the psyche of people like Obama). King Obama’s court was comprised of unapologetic fanatics like Samantha Power who literally wrote a book on why war is the answer to human rights crises.
Team Trump have adopted many of the same policies only the fanaticism has been replaced by condescension. Where Obama’s policy went a bit like George Carlin’s statement “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it”, Trump’s version is a bit like, “You can join our club, our club is terrific, it’s the best, you’ve never seen a club like this. But you can only join if you play by our rules, got it, it’s that simple”.
The nations of the world who are becoming increasingly fed up with America’s
exceptionalism hegemonic attitude are finding that Trump’s condescension is if anything, more grating than Obama’s blind fanaticism.
This is especially the case in respect of China who Trump condescends to on Twitter, as though North Korea is China’s menacing child and that China needs to be a better parent. It is both absurd and insulting, China has noticed and China is justifiably angry about this.
While the Democrats who are still reeling in the Obama years couldn’t care less about respecting the sovereignty of other nations, because they’ve run out of any original ideas other than writing odes to the Obama years and saying that Russia got Trump elected, the idea of Trump’s foreign policy moves being dictated by Moscow may never go away.
The fact that many if not most of Donald Trump’s foreign policy moves are contrary to the wishes, tendencies and style of Russian foreign policy is inconsequential to Trump’s political opponents. They refuse to allow the facts to get in the way of what for them is a good story.
Had Trump lived up to even half of his foreign policy promises, people like me on the ultra-conservative anti-war right would have stood up for him on this issue. Because of Trump’s deeply alarming foreign policies I’ve had to resign myself to standing up for the candidate I supported entirely on the issues of domestic affairs in which I still very much support Trump.
That being said, Donald Trump may be the first President in US history to have his domestic opposition attempt to bring him down based on a concocted foreign policy scandal. The scandal isn’t that Trump is pro-Russia, the scandal is that he’s pro-Obama in foreign affairs in far too many ways. However, the Democrats will continue to sell the Russia story in the hope that a bad James Bond plot will sell more readily in America’s heartland than the other ideas of a party whose major domestic platform involves allowing grown men to unzip their genitals in the lady’s restroom.