Thursday, September 8, 2016

Trump: Neoconservative Defense Hawk

Donald Trump is now calling for a military buildup that is in line with what is being pushed by the neoconservative think tanks, the Heritage Institute and the Amercian Enterprise Institute.

Politico reports:
For months, Donald Trump has blasted Congress for excessive defense spending, calling for buying fewer of the newest fighter jets and scaling back weapons purchases pushed by “special interests."

But on Wednesday, he was singing from the traditional GOP national security hymnal, calling for billions of additional dollars for a bigger Army and Marine Corps, missile defense systems and more ships and fighter jets. He also advocated an end to mandatory budget caps — the same ones he used to criticize as too loose.
It is the latest sign that a candidate who has alienated many bedrock Republican voters is trying to steer toward a more mainstream message that can resonate with party stalwarts and independent voters concerned about an erosion of American security and credibility on the world stage.

While many of Trump’s proposals would be difficult, if not impossible, to execute, the blueprint — drawn heavily from the conservative Heritage Foundation that provided much of the intellectual underpinning of Ronald Reagan’s arms buildup in the 1980s — signals he is hewing much closer to Republican orthodoxy on military issues as he enters the final stretch of the White House race.
“I am one of the original Never Trumpers — and unreconstructed in that regard — but taking the speech on its face you could put my name on it almost,” said Thomas Donnelly, co-director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “This is the most like a traditional conservative Republican I can remember Donald Trump sounding, especially on national security and defense."
Indeed, the Trump "revolution" strikes me as having a very similar track to that of the Reagan "Revolution" that the neocons so cheer. Murray Rothbard, early on, wisely warned about Reagan (Libertraian Forum, February 1976):
Reagan remains the Number One menace to American liberty and to the libertarian movement. It is vital to expose Reagan is the Pied Piper of the nationwide revolution against Big Government, the piper who leads the increasingly libertarian masses into a statist world of militarism and nuclear war...
In short, Ronald Reagan and conservatism are not opposed to Big Government at all. All they want is a shift in the priorities for government activity and expenditure: a bit less welfare a lot more militarism, coerced "morality" and war overseas. Reagan must be stopped and the sooner the better.
It is very difficult to understand how anyone can not see, at this point. the aggressive militaristic slant to Trump's view of proper U.S. presidential leadership . In fact, Trump's so-called bromance with Vladimir Putin understood within the context of Trump's militaristic tone, suggests that what Trump finds attractive about Putin is his simplistic view of  Putin as a tough guy.

This does not imply that Trump is unlikely to get into wars in the Middle East. It suggests the opposite. And while Trump seems to respect the Russian leader, there is no indication that Trump maintains the same type of respect for Chinese leadership

This is a big world and there are plenty of ways a raving militarist can get the U.S. into serious wars while possibly keeping hands-off Russia.

The idea that the largest military by far in the entire world requires budget busting to expand the military of the United States even further is extremely troubling.

It's time to end "Libertarians for Trump."



  1. I saw a big (6'x10' maybe), homemade sign for Trump yesterday on a home in my area that read "Vote Trump 2016: What have you got to lose?" I'm not even sure how to unpack that one but my guess is that Trump has taken this latest militarist tack to gather in the large number of big gov't, military worshipping (or do I repeat myself) conservatives who, thus far, have been put off by Trump's oh so slight aversion to perpetual war and the obvious financial calamity it is causing to the US. TPTB's gotta keep those folks "in the game" somehow, I guess. I'll be curious to see how many fall for it. Anecdotally, I'll know it has worked if my in-law who fits the description of "conservative" above changes his mind and starts supporting Trump.

  2. He got the nomination so now he doesn't need the anti-war conservatives and "libertarians" anymore. They're a small group compared to the warmongering conservatives and leftists.