If a Democrat Wins the White House in 2020
Apocalypto, Mel Gibson’s epic movie depicting the Mayan culture’s end days, opens with a quotation from historian Will Durant on the fall of the Roman Empire: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within."
Durant’s observation resonates for us. Consider: a supposedly center-right country electing and reelecting Obama, a leftist demagogue masquerading as a centrist. Consider: the ongoing damage to our constitutional system by the Deep State. Is it so hard to imagine an unabashed socialist or any of his soulmates winning the White House in 2020 and the effects on our economy, culture, and politics? Worse yet, transforming the country becomes the new president’s priority, with national security somewhere down the list.
A President Bernie Sanders would terminate Trump’s defense buildup and resume the military drawdown Obama presided over. Expect reductions in active-duty personnel, cutbacks in spending for new ships and planes, and slowdowns in programs to develop advanced weapons systems. Also on the block: “unnecessary” bases here and abroad, and modernization of our aging nuclear weapons. Lost on the left and the know-nothings: a defanged America makes the world more dangerous, not less.
In “Doctrine of Decline,” a January 2017 article published in National Review, Thomas C. Donnelly presents a powerful case that President Obama did “more damage to American military power than his successor can repair.” And it’s about more than appropriations. Prepare to be depressed if you read Donnelly’s essay and contemplate another eight years of a commander-in-chief who will fight to “preserve, protect, and defend” his right to cut our defenses and call it “streamlining.”
For a preview of what’s ahead if we start thinking history is over and there are better things to do with money than funding defense, take a look at what passes for the military in Western Europe. Our presence there as a tripwire may be all that’s keeping the Russian bear caged. What would change with a President Beto O’Rourke in the Oval Office is the perception we would honor our commitments to counter Russian aggression. (Here's a parody of President O’Rourke discussing his Russia foreign policy.)
November 2020 is not far off. The GOP must educate voters to understand how vulnerable America would become -- and how much more dangerous the world would be -- should a president abdicate America’s superpower status to focus on establishing a workers’ paradise at home. Count on the MSM to blunt the message.
Sanders, Harris, Booker, Warren and the rest of the Vermonter’s competition (socialists all, to one degree or another) need the support of the Democratic Party’s hate-America fever swamp base to win the nomination. Meaning, against their better judgment (or maybe not), they’ll remain viable by espousing costly measures to combat “climate change,” gutting the military to fund freebies and for ideological reasons, and making hands off, “live-and-let-live,” the norm in international relations -- the exception being active animus for Israel.
A progressive administration’s main goal coming off the election would be to spark a social revolution in America, requiring a great turn inward. My guess is the overseas apology tour begins a four or eight-year run not long after the inauguration. To the left, this is diplomacy.
Our adversaries would exploit a functionally isolationist president to advance their interests and harm ours. Worse, I can envision a scenario where an enemy spots an opportunity to attack us and expects to escape retaliation.
President Trump’s unpredictability keeps the bad actors guessing. They don’t know quite what to make of him and so hesitate to risk action which might blow back on them. If Russia and China are planning to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, you can bet they’ll work to defeat Trump and bolster whatever creampuff the Democrats put up.
Some hotspots and tinderboxes awaiting a new president:
The South China Sea. Beijing claims almost the whole of this international waterway. American warships occasionally traverse these waters despite howls of protest from the Chinese. I can see President Gillibrand placating Beijing by abandoning the practice, thereby ceding ownership of some of the world’s most travelled shipping lanes to China.
Taiwan. Beijing is growing more strident in proclaiming that force remains an option to achieve reunification with the “breakaway province.” America has signed no formal treaty promising to intervene if China attacks Taiwan. The Chinese have long held back partly because they don’t know what we might do should they initiate hostilities. A naif like Julian Castro in the White House might be the incentive they need to take a great leap outward.
Good luck Googling “Trump and Putin” and finding anything but collusion. In fact, opinions about Trump’s Russia policy and his relationship with Putin are all over the map.
This much is noteworthy: the U.S. appears ready to increase its NATO military presence at the Orzysz base in Northeastern Poland in response to concerns Russia may be planning to strike there. In addition, we are selling military weapons to the Ukrainians.
This administration has done plenty to keep Russia in check. The MSM buries this information to keep the public ignorant.
President Biden standing up to Putin? Please.
- North Korea
No one can predict the outcome of the president’s summit this week with North Korea’s Kim Jong un. But remember: the Kims -- grandfather, father, son -- have been taking the measure of American presidents for over fifty years, playing Lucy holding the football to our Charlie Brown.
Kim has no clue what makes Trump tick (Who does?) but probably suspects that he’s deadly serious. This may account for the fact the North has not launched missiles or tested nukes for over a year. That’s helpful but not definitive. Trump is too savvy to sign any deal that permits the North to keep its nuclear arsenal.
I can see President Warren taking time off from slaying capitalism and signing any deal put in front of her, followed by a Madeline Albright jig, and a declaration of peace in our time. With the Japanese producing nuclear weapons in short order.
- Iran and the Middle East
Like Russia, China, and North Korea, Iran is wary of Trump. It is no coincidence that Iranian harassment of U. S. Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz has dropped recently.
Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than President Trump. Replacing him with President Amy Klobuchar may be regarded in Tehran as a rebuke to the current administration’s unwavering support for Israel. Any move to be more “evenhanded” in the region suggests a crack in the relationship between The U.S. and Israel, and that makes a miscalculation by Iran, and conflict, more likely.
As the Democratic wannabes lurch further left, they’ll mouth platitudes about keeping the country strong and vigilant. Baloney. Given the job, every one of the pretenders would, like Obama, use a cleaver on defense spending and put national security considerations on the back burners. Cue the Europeanization of America. That is a frightening prospect.
We are the only power on earth capable of thwarting Chinese and Russia expansionism and the breakout of North Korea and Iran. God help us if we turn to the U.N. to pick up the mantle.
Steve Grammatico is the author of You Hear Me, Barack? PC-Free Conservative Satire. He blogs at You Hear Me, Barack? A Repository of Conservative Satire.