How presidential candidates are summoning their inner war hawks.
Once again presidential primary season is upon us in the US and much like sea turtles migrating across the Pacific or how wildebeests travel thousands of miles across the African plains, something magical happens once every four years. The once docile politicians shed their outer-cocoons and out emerges war-like hawks that stayed dormant for years until someone from their party said, “hey, I think you could be president.”
Because as it says in the Constitution, becoming President of the United States means you get three free bombs to drop on any third-world nation that only a third of the US would recognize!
Just look at Hillary Clinton. Many are saying she’s the most hawkish Democrat running for president that we’ve had in years. With some analysts even speculating that both the Democratic Party and American foreign policy would fundamentally change if she were to become president. She went as far as criticizing the Obama Administration’s foreign policy in an interview with The Atlantic by stating, “great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
And it’s important to remember, that Hillary Clinton was President Obama’s Secretary of State at one point. So yeah, Clinton is like that guy at the McDonald’s register who insists that they’re the ones who came up with Taco Bell’s breakfast menu, when they worked there.
Then again, Clinton was always hawkish when it came to foreign policy. Even while she was in the Obama administration as Secretary of State, in 2009 she was one of the major internal advocates when it came to a troop surge in Afghanistan and called for the US to arm Libyan rebels were fighting off Muammar Qaddafi’s forces in a civil war.
But what about the other candidates?
Take Republican primary candidate Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Not long ago, he was staging a 13-hour talking filibuster against the Obama administration’s policy on drones, going as far as to warn that the president may one day use a drone to attack an American citizen on US soil. And now that he’s running for president…
Though that’s not all, Sen. Paul now even proposes increases to military spending from $76 to over $696 billion in fiscal year 2016. Where in his original 2011 budget plan he cut defense spending from $553 to $542 billion and dropped $159 billion in War funding completely!
See when it comes to Sen. Paul wanting to win the 2016 Republican ticket, he’s now going through his “military hawkish” phase similar to how Madonna went through her “Kabbalah” phase back in the late-90’s. Both resulting in extremely awkward conversations with the press and coming off as increasingly desperate.
Yet the most hawkish statement actually came from Sen. Lindsey Graham last weekend. He told attendees at Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner event that, “if I’m president of the United States and you’re thinking about joining al-Qaeda or ISIL, I’m not gonna call a judge, I’m gonna call a drone and we will kill you.”
Yikes! Also shhhh, no one tell Sen. Graham about the idea of government checks-and-balances, I’m worried that if he were to become president he might send a drone to the other two branches of government!
What’s even crazier is when Sen. Graham made that statement; there was a huge applause from the crowd! That statement killed in that room, similar to how Sen. Graham wants a drone to kill an American without due process.
Though to be honest, none of this should come as a shock.
In a recent Pew Research survey, when people were asked which aspects would impact the likelihood of you supporting a candidate, “Served in the Military” was on the top of that list. It beat out such aspects as being governor of a state, attending a prestigious college, or having Washington experience. The reason these candidates take such hawkish stances to foreign policy and threats in general is because we as Americans think it’s the most important aspect in being president!
So somewhere down the line, the ideal image of a US president went from this:
(Photo Credits: Wikipedia, McDonalds, Amazon, Google Images)