South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham parades as a conservative. But he and his ideological confrere, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, are neoconservatives. The distinction is important because neoconservatism has become a dominant force among many elected officials and media pundits.
What is neoconservatism? The man who always claimed to be the “godfather” of the movement is Irving Kristol. In his 1995 book Neonconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, he wrote, “We accepted the New Deal in principle, and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated American conservatism.” He also bared the roots of his political and economic preferences when he additionally stated, “I regard myself as lucky to have been a young Trotskyite and I have not a single bitter memory.” So, he wanted the socialism desired by FDR’s New Deal and the United States to be the policeman of the world on the way to world government.
The Leon Trotsky he lauded partnered with Lenin in the takeover of Russia in 1917. A few years later, after Lenin died and Stalin emerged as the top criminal, Trotsky fled for his life. The two had split because Stalin favored head-cracking and gulags while Trotsky wanted to impose Marxist socialism slowly and patiently. His technique called for propagandizing people into choosing it. Both shared the ultimate goal of a tyrannical world government and differed only in how to obtain it.
So, a neoconservative advocates big government socialism and worldwide internationalism via undeclared wars and entangling pacts. Neocon Charles Krauthammer boldly spelled out these goals in a 1989 article appearing in Kristol’s journal, The National Interest. He advocated U.S. integration with other nations to create a “super-sovereign” entity that is “economically, culturally, and politically hegemonic in the world.” His ultimate goal called for a “new universalism [which] would require the conscious depreciation not only of American sovereignty but of the notion of sovereignty in general.”
Neoconservatives love war. Not the kind authorized by a congressional declaration that might result in a quick victory and the troops coming home, but a conflict started by presidential mandate with full authorization supplied by the United Nations or its NATO subsidiary. As Senator Graham stated in a recent Capitol Hill press conference, he wants the president given a green light for another undeclared war: “I agree with the president that Congress should act regarding giving him the authority to fight ISIL.”
War without the constitutional requirement for a formal congressional declaration has been our nation’s policy since World War II. Our forces haven’t won a war since that struggle because they have been hamstrung by rules imposed by the UN, NATO, or presidential dictate. The United States never lost a war until our leaders departed from formally issuing a required declaration. Congress, which should have insisted on adherence to the Constitution, lamely tolerated stalemates or losses in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now in Afghanistan. If U.S. forces are to be employed to defeat ISIS (or ISIL), there should be a declaration of war, not a presidential dictate.
Neocon Lindsey Graham swore an oath to the Constitution, not to presidential power. He violated that oath when he supported granting President Obama trade promotion authority, the power to entangle the Untied States in sovereignty-compromising deals with the European Union and Pacific nations. He also voted for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, raising the national debt ceiling, and supplying another trillion dollars to fund socialistic agencies of the federal government. And that’s just some of his record over the past year. Check out his voting adherence to the Constitution as calculated by the Freedom Index.
Not alone in what he supports, Senator Graham has become an outspoken leader of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. He supports going to war without a required declaration, entangling the United States in the UN and harmful trade pacts, and backing continuation and expansion of federally imposed socialism. This isn’t conservatism; it’s neoconservatism. And it’s terribly bad for our country.