Disgraced national security adviser John Bolton sharply criticzed President Donald Trump in an op-ed that he published for the Washington Post on November 11, 2020. He accused Republican leadership of “coddling” President Trump after his electoral loss. The failed national security adviser asserted that some Republican leaders are providing cover for the president “while he trashes the U.S. electoral system.”
“But this coddling strategy is exactly backward. The more Republican leaders kowtow, the more Trump believes he is still in control and the less likely he will do what normal presidents do: make a gracious concession speech; fully cooperate with the president-elect in a smooth transition process; and validate the election process itself by joining his successor at the Jan. 20 inauguration,” Bolton stated.
Mainstream media outlets called the election for Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden on November 7 after he was able to pick up large leads in swing states such as Pennsylvania through mail-in-votes that started dripping in after Election Day.
So far, Trump has refused to concede and is waiting for the courts to adjudicate potential allegations of voter fraud.
Bolton became infamous for being the most hawkish voice in the Trump administration and was shown the door in September 2019 after it became clear that his agenda did not coincide with Trump’s policy of restraint. The disgraced national security adviser warned that Trump’s behavior is blemishing the GOP’s image right before two Republican candidates in Georgia square off with Democrats in runoff elections for the Senate in January.
“Consider the competing interests. Donald Trump’s is simple and straightforward: Donald Trump. The near-term Republican interest is winning the Georgia runoffs,” Bolton stated. “The long-term Republican interest emphatically involves winning those Senate seats, but it also involves rejecting Trump’s personalized, erratic, uncivil, unpresidential and ultimately less-than-effective politics and governance.”
The Trump campaign has taken legal action in pivotal battleground states in order to overturn results that allegedly had cases of fraud.
Bolton did concede that the Trump campaign can use whatever legal means it has available to contest the election results. Bolton did state, however, “any aggrieved candidate must at some point produce valid legal arguments and persuasive evidence.”
“Trump has so far failed to do so, and there is no indication he can. If he can’t, his ‘right’ to contest the election is beside the point. The real issue is the grievous harm he is causing to public trust in America’s constitutional system,” Bolton added.
Bolton concluded by saying that the 2020 election needs to be wrapped up:
National security requires that the transition get underway effectively. These are Republican values. We will acknowledge reality sooner or later. For the good of the party as well as the country, let’s make it sooner.
Bolton is a consummate creature of the Swamp and a mouthpiece for military industrial interests. President Trump was correct in firing him, although he should have never been hired by Trump in the first place. As far as America First movements are concerned, John Bolton has no business being involved in an administration that pushes for foreign policy restraint.
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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