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Republicans Offer Us a Foreign Policy Of Campaign Slogans and Sound Bites

Last updated on July 17th, 2023 at 06:44 pm

Donald Trump told the world Saturday night at the GOP debate, in answer to an attack from Ted Cruz earlier this week, that he had “the best temperament” to be commander in chief.

Though Cruz declined to repeat the attack, there is no reason to believe his opinion has changed. Perhaps he just doesn’t like to insult people to their faces. Because we know how he feels about that.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham would also beg to differ with Trump, and delivered his verdict on a Ted Cruz presidency Thursday for Wolf Blitzer on CNN. According to Graham, a Cruz foreign policy would be “just as wrong as Obama, if not worse.”

You know, because nobody likes peace.

Asked if Cruz was worse than Trump, Graham told Blitzer, “I don’t know if anybody is worse than Trump,” whose worldview is “complete gibberish.” This has the virtue of being true, though it doesn’t mean much when worldview of pretty much any Republican you care to name is complete gibberish.

Of course, the problem with Obama’s foreign policy is that it is pragmatic, based on reality rather than on rigid ideology. How could it be anything other than gibberish as well? Reality? Seriously? Republicans can’t comprehend reality.

You have to wonder how objective Graham’s opinion of Cruz was, opining that “In Ted Cruz’s world, dictators do very well.” In point of fact – and the historical record will bear this out – friendly dictators always do well with American foreign policy, because they’re usually seen as holding back forces that are far worse – for America.

Certainly Graham is right about Cruz being an “opportunist” and somebody who “gets ahead at our expense” (of people like Graham) and who will “run down other Republicans” to for self-aggrandizement. We’ve seen plenty of evidence of that.

Nobody likes Cruz, not only Donald Trump, and CNN was already reporting in January that “prominent senators are sharpening their knives against Ted Cruz.”

Cruz only proved Graham right before the caucuses by lying about Ben Carson dropping out of the race, and then compounding that lie at Saturday’s debate by trying to blame it all on CNN when he got caught. This is a truly despicable human being.

Still, you have to take Graham’s opinions with a grain of salt, because out of the top 3 in the Iowa caucuses, Graham went with Rubio, the former Wunderkind who would be Wunderkind again if everybody else would just go away:

“Marco,” he said, “has a worldview consistent with reason and reality versus the other two.”

Um, no, actually he doesn’t. This is the Rubio who claimed other nations would support him when he ripped up the Iran nuclear deal. You mean those nations that helped broker the deal in the first place? As The New York Times pointed out, this was pure “wishful thinking.”

And apparently it doesn’t bother Graham that out of them all, Rubio seems to enjoy actually showing up to do the job he is paid to do, least of all. Cruz isn’t exactly a workaholic, per his voting record, but it’s anyone’s guess what Rubio does when he’s supposed to be in the Senate.

All this illustrates an across-the-board problem with Republican governance in the twenty first century: reality avoidance. Graham complains other Republicans are out of touch but he hasn’t shown any of us where he is exactly in touch with our shared reality. None of them are. They can’t be and claim to be Republicans.

Complete gibberish Trump’s worldview is, and that of “bomb till the sands glow” Cruz too, but you won’t find anything better than either of these in the entire Republican field. The GOP has wedded itself completely to something that can be defined and supported by the Fox News bubble, the math Republicans do to feel better about themselves.

None of this works in the real world: Carpet bombing, walls, invasions, nuking Denmark, letting Israel control America’s foreign policy.

Consider Trump and Cruz compared to some other GOP offerings: Rubio wants to enforce a Syrian no-fly zone even over the Russians, something of which Putin is likely to take a very dim view. Can’t see where any risks are attached to that plan.

It’s one very bad idea after another and it’s just a matter of sorting out which option is worse than the next. None of them will have happy consequences. And yes, Benjamin Netanyahu will remain a threat to any American foreign policy. That difference is, a Democrat will not let Netanyahu make his decisions for him.

The United States needs more than any Republican’s “campaign slogans and sound bites” but we’re not going to get it from people in complete denial of reality.

Chris Christie told Marco Rubio Saturday during the GOP debate that “Marco, the thing is this. When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.”

Nor does it make a foreign policy.

Lindsey Graham complained Trump’s worldview is complete gibberish, but the only thing any Republican promises us is a foreign policy cobbled together out of dishonest campaign slogans and sound bites. Don’t expect more than that from any of them.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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