When it Comes to Avoiding War, Trump’s Base Might be Our Best Hope.
How they may help us avoid catastrophe.
With each passing day, it grows terrifyingly more likely that we will in fact have military engagement with Iran, and maybe even Venezuela as well. Not to mention we may also be entering a cyberwar with Russia. The continuous and blatant escalations of conflict all over the world is almost as overwhelming as it is horrifying, and it’s difficult to know where to begin when considering all these possibilities.
While perhaps his instincts may have in fact been noninterventionist, Trump has surrounded himself with close allies in the administration who are smarter, more tactical, and whose instincts are most definitely not the same. They know how to play to our President’s ego, and as a result we are on the verge of catastrophe on multiple fronts. As of right now, it seems as though we are left with one perhaps surprising but strong ally in the fight against the persistent war drumbeat.
Let’s remember that Trump’s 2016 campaign was centered around a fake populist message that obviously resonated with a significant portion of the country, and part of that message was his anti-war stance. Trump portrayed himself as a strong opponent of the Iraq War, and promised to bring an end to all the senseless conflict that the U.S. has stumbled in to since 9/11. With an election quickly approaching, I’m absolutely convinced that part of the reason Trump himself is wary of war is due to the fact that his base clearly has been opposed to it. Where many right wing politicians seem to view war as a politically savvy move to garner popularity and unity, interestingly enough this could be where Trump’s campaign rhetoric could come back to haunt him if he follows through with it.
I’m not sure what it is, but something about this approaching conflict feels very different in terms of the mood of the country. With no 9/11 as a catalyst for an offensive war, I don’t see much of the country in favor of this idea. Iraq and the years we spent there seem to still be fresh on our minds. At this point however, it’s all going to come down to which fears of Donald Trump’s run deeper. Will it be the fear of looking weak, which is something I’m sure Bolton and Pompeo are stressing, or the fear of losing some of his base leading up to the election?
Unfortunately, only time will tell.
But we cannot deny the common ground that exists between the bases of both the left and the right on this issue, and if there is any issue to unify around then it would be this one. If Trump’s base is able to remind him exactly how they feel about sending our teenagers and young men and women off to war again, then maybe — just maybe — we have a chance of avoiding these disasters. Our country is tired of these wars, and perhaps if Trump is reminded of that, these messes we edge closer and closer to may be avoided all together.