We can now count Bernie Sanders as a reliable foot soldier for the gun control agenda.
Since announcing his run for the U.S. Presidency, the Vermont Senator has been on Twitter laying out his campaign priorities.
In a recent tweet, Bernie Sanders towed the Democratic Party line on gun control.
Using the same epidemic language that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invoked after President Trump’s State of the Union Address, Sanders has made it clear that gun control will be a key plank of his campaign.
I’m running for president because we must end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We need to take on the NRA, expand background checks, end the gun show loophole and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons.
Ironically, Sanders received a lukewarm endorsement from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre in the 1990s during one of Sanders’s congressional runs. LaPierre went as far as to say that “Bernie Sanders is a more honorable choice for Vermont sportsmen than Peter Smith.” This was in reference to the Republican incumbent’s decision to come out in favor of an assault weapons ban.
However, things have changed in recent times. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders received a D- rating from the NRA. However, that was not enough for the likes of Hilary Clinton, who blasted him for not being sufficiently anti-gun throughout the 2016 Democratic primaries.
Clinton asserted that “When it really mattered, Senator Sanders voted with the gun lobby and I voted against the gun lobby,” which referenced a bill Sanders voted for that shielded gun manufacturers and sellers from legal liability due to firearm misusage.
Fast forward to 2019, Sanders is now faithfully following the gun control script. And it’s a sign of the times. His home state of Vermont has been taking an anti-gun course over the past few years. In 2018, Republican Governor Phil Scott signed S.55 into law, which includes bump stock ban, universal background checks, and red flag gun confiscation provisions.
As a self-proclaimed socialist, it is no surprise Sanders is now unabashedly supporting gun control. Socialists believe in control of all facets of human life, from business activities down to how people defend themselves.
At the end of the day, people won’t let others confiscate their private property without a fight. For that reason, socialists make sure to restrict firearm ownership as much possible to prevent uprisings.
Bernie Sanders can claim to be a democratic socialist all he wants, but his proposals will lead to anything but a democratic outcome.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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