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Big Issues like the Flood of Illegal Aliens and the National Debt Were Ignored at CPAC

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Several organizations were disappointed following the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

The theme of this year’s CPAC was “America vs. Socialism.” After all, this is an election cycle with a self-described democratic socialist in Bernie Sanders running for office.

Billy Binion of Reason wrote “notably absent from the CPAC agenda was anything pertaining to the debt, deficit, or current levels of absurd government spending—an odd choice for a conference that sought to position itself as a banner carrier for responsible fiscal policy.”

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Instead, the conference focused around “incendiary characters like Diamond and Silk, Charlie Kirk, and Candace Owens, who do more to caricature the Right than provide constructive policy ideas. “

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When it came to substance, this conference did not deliver whatsoever.

Binion highlighted what was truly missing about America’s growing deficit:

“Trump has ‘fully embraced the idea that deficits don’t matter,’ writes Steven Greenhut for Reason, with fantastical budget proposals that fail to right America’s fiscal ship. His 2021 budget, for instance, requests $4.8 trillion in spending—a 21 percent increase from when Trump took office.”

Binion concluded by stating that “’America vs. Socialism,’ it turns out, was real-life clickbait.”

Reason posted a brief snippet of this article on Twitter, tweeting “Notably absent from the CPAC agenda was anything pertaining to the debt, deficit, or current levels of absurd government spending.”

This tweet prompted a response from the Twitter account of Center for Immigration Studies who said “Also absent was anything about the excessively high level of immigration.”

Indeed, both immigration and mass migration are some of the biggest issues confronting America.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, there are 14.3 million illegal aliens, which cost American taxpayers $132 billion annually.

The national debt stands at $23 trillion at the moment.

However, the immigration question has a civilizational quality to it.

Based on the voting patterns of migrants coming to America after the 1965 Immigration Act, traditional American freedoms such as private gun ownership and freedom of speech could be potentially under threat once these migrants and their descendants become full-blown political participants.

For that reason, GOP voters view immigration as the #1 issue heading into November 2020, according to a BLP report.

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Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?

America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad

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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.”

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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. 

After looking at the list of people who have been tapped to join the Biden administration, Hawley tweeted, “What a group of corporatists and war enthusiasts – and #BigTech sellouts.”

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.”

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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