Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Exit of Lindsey Graham from 2016 Republican Party Nomination Race!

Keywords or Terms: South Carolina Senator; Lindsey Graham; Governor Christ Christie; Governor John Kasich; Neo-Conservatism; ISIL; Military Intervention; Republican Party; American Boots; Religious Caliphate; MOX program; Mainstream Republican; Bush Administration; Obama’s Administration; Global Terrorism

The end of another Republican aspirant dream for the White House oval office came to an apoptosis on the hills of the fifth Republican Party debate and on the throes of the third Democratic Party debate. South Caroline Senator Lindsey Graham exit from the Republican party nomination race was probably influenced by the frustration of not being able to gain traction with voters in his own state, not to talk about those across the country. The Senior US Senator from the State of Southern Carolina first emerged as a truly influential advocate for strong national defense after having served as a member of South Carolina Air National Guard and South Carolina Air Force Reserves, as a Colonel. Unlike Donald Trump who has been experiencing a mind-blowing polls number, support for Mr. Graham brand of conservatism has been rather dismal, something close to one percentage polling point, a reality that has not only been frustrating for similar Republican 2016 contestants, but probably contributed to his decision on Monday, December 21, 2015, to drop out of the 2016 race. 

Even during his participation in the Republican Party nomination exercise, the hawkish senator, who had some choice words for the sitting President of the United States regarding attempt to combat global terrorism, including: 1) “The President’s reluctance to increase American boots on the ground in Iraq to destroy ISIL and his refusal to create a regional army to go into Syria to destroy the Caliphate, guarantees our next President will have to deal with this problem; 2) President Obama’s unwillingness to work with his military commanders to develop a strategy to destroy ISIL as quickly as possible increases the threat to the American homeland,” appears not to have been able to sell his brand of military-intervention activism for America. Although not completely engaged in impropriety and bad use of language on the presidential campaign trail, his choice words for the President have not only been riddled with falsehood, it appears that some of his rhetoric are incomprehensible among Republicans in his home state of South Carolina. 

Frankly, it appears that the only remarkable policy proposal that differentiates him from the rest of the Republican aspirants, has been the advancement of the MOX program for his home state; a program designed to turn surplus weapon-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel to power commercial nuclear reactor. In a state where MOX program has given hope and provided employment opportunities, his criticism of White House attempt to terminate the program has hardly helped his chances for being nominated as Republican flagbearer; and, for all intense and purpose, his campaign message of hawkish conservatism on foreign policy has hardly done well for his favorability and electability for the White House oval office.

Just as his official campaign announcement broke on a Monday, June 1, 2015, its demise also came on a Monday, December 21, 2015; close to six month of lively town hall entertainments, mumbo jumbo with a torch of euphonious statements and, rather miniscule support from Americans. Mainstream Republicans who hardly care for neoconservatives, complain he is a war monger who hardly bats an eye-lid from sending Americans to war without having a back-up plan of how to resettle and reintegrate veterans to civilian life after horrendous war time experience. A few of his supporters identify his quick wits and candor as commendable; however, critics maintain he is a war monger without much to offer a productive and progressive society, but war, sorrow and destruction.

With probably two delusional statements in a short relayed video, “I got into this race to put forward a plan to win a war we cannot afford to lose, and to turn back the tide of isolationism that was rising in our party” and “I believe we’ve made enormous progress on this effort”, Senator Graham announced the suspension of his 2016 campaign for the White House oval office with a wry look of a defeated ambition. Just as he set in motion an affinity to deploy ground troops to fight global terrorism, his rather whimsical 2016 presidential campaign, without any serious plan for addressing the rise of global terrorist groups as ISIS, make one wonder if he understood what he was selling as presidential aspirant. Like Governors Christ Christie and John Kasich, who would happily shoot down Russian planes, Senator Graham appears to come off on campaign trails, as an unusually laughable aspirant with shallow thoughts in other realm of the duties of a president; and, the implication of his proposal in the area of foreign policy that he claims some degree of understanding.

Senator Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaign has not only been dramatic while it lasted, it came off as even humorous on a number of occasions. How about the following from the erstwhile Senator: 1) “I’ve got a lot of friends; We’ll have a rotating first lady?” 2) “Sequestration is Latin for ‘doing really dumb things?” 3) “He’s race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. You know how you make America great again? You tell Donald Trump to go to hell?” 4) “Strom Thurmond had four kids after age 67. If you’re not willing to do that, we need to come up with a new immigration system?” and, 5) “If I’m president, we’re gonna drink more?” These ideas or statements were not only underhanded and below the caliber of a US presidential candidate; they appear to bring a torch of light hearten humor to the serious business of campaigning to be President of the United States. The willingness to introduce complete hilarious statements probably suggests how probably unrealistic or UN-serious his campaign had been before termination this week.

One can only hope that his effort on the campaign trail transformed other Republican Party aspirants to reevaluate their effort to run for party nomination and ultimately, the office of the President. Regardless of the hopes of the remaining twelve aspirants on the campaign trail, there is simply no way to imagine a candidacy built on neoconservative values with foreign policy prospects of intervention in other countries, winning the White House in 2016. Many of the remaining neoconservative Republican aspirants who may want to resort to engaging in foreign wars, there are some rather unsettling reality that America’s engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq probably taught us. Maybe a few of these aspirants will appreciate that, with a token number of America’s military in Afghanistan, the country is still experiencing loss of American lives, even after our pronouncement of withdrawal and termination of hostility in that country. The future ability of America to continue with hawkish foreign policy will hardly depend on the singular preference of a US President anymore; rather, it will depend on associated prospective human and financial costs, among others.

2016 Republican aspirants bent on engaging in foreign wars, who are unsympathetic to America’s weariness in fighting unnecessary foreign wars, especially those where our direct interests or those of our allies are not at stake, will have to deal with proposals for possible radical reform to the power of the Presidency to administer foreign policy; and probably, massive curtailment of Congressional approved funds for engaging in costly foreign wars. The uniqueness of recent experiences in foreign policy, shows an explicit rejection of unilateral foreign wars, experimentation with deception as grounds of foreign hostilities and fighting a transition from state-own and financed terrorism to splintered religious fanatically-driven hooliganism. The new reality is that the enterprise is fraught with danger; and, a few of the workable strategies are better driven by inclusiveness of allies and sometime, non-traditional allies.

Before entertaining ideas from Republican aspirants, on how America must address continued insurgencies from ISIS and other radical terrorist groups, it is probably necessary to admonish that in the past seven years, America has not directly engaged in overzealous and excessively expensive foreign interventions, where the direct interest of America is not at stake. The overwhelming criticisms that are coming from Republicans regarding how global terrorism is being fought by the current White House, fail to appreciate that President Barack Obama won his two elections on an anti-war platform. No matter how credible some current criticisms have been regarding why ISIS has grown in size or influence in the Middle-East, there is no classic answer or credibility that President Barack Obama has failed to protect Americans and the homeland, even with the unfortunate event in San Bernardo, California. The failure of the Bush Administration in the two foreign wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, may not translate into alternative proposal for the next President to take the country in the path of other unnecessary foreign wars, just because the neoconservative groups want the war(s).

Of Course, current Obama’s foreign policy is not rooted strictly on political ideology; it is partly based on the lesson from Bush Administration’s engagement in unpaid foreign interventions that appear to have failed to accomplish the purported purpose, as advanced by the neoconservatives who sold the wars to America. To constrain ISIS and other international terrorist groups, the nation has to look at other progressive foreign policies that will infuse vision in the type of engagements that will deliver the required results without the loss of many American lives and capital. The ultimate decline, and in some other instances, the collapse of terrorist networks across the globe, must take the route of cutting not only the source of money used in engaging in terrorism, but also, confronting interpretation of religious doctrine that continue to fan hatred for the West. To raise the indices for fighting global terrorism to the level of national terrorism is hardly going to work anymore. We are now fighting splintered terrorist groups, operating in failed or about to fail foreign nations. We must now advocate for compelling foreign policies that protect our domestic and international interests, cognizance of Russian and Chinese hegemony or spheres of influence in some of these regions. The urgency of dealing with the mounting national foreign debt, will have to be part of the strategy to fight global terrorism.

Sadly, but truthful, the size of a nation’s foreign debts hampers the ability of the nation to engage in external hostilities that are going to demand substantial human and material resources. An economy yet to overcome the pangs of recession, one that, according to some macro-economists, is suffering from anemic GDP growth of only two percent in 2015, may want to consider why a progressively truncated or traumatized growth from recent recession, coupled with an average five percent unemployment, may not have gotten out of the woods; and, definitely should not be contemplating going to foreign wars at any slight of the moment. Mind you, no one is advocating a surrender or pacifism; however, no one is advancing that our goal of fighting global terrorism must rely on the shoulders of our nation alone. The defining words are: Global Terrorism!

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