Military Commitments and Republicans

“Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s (Frederick Lewis Allen) – Highlight on Page 27 | Loc. 494-98 | Added on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 11:07 PM Lodge rose in the Senate to express his preferences for national independence and security, to insist that Articles X and XI of the League Covenant gave “other powers” the right “to call out American troops and American ships to any part of the world,” and to reply to Wilson: “We would not have our politics distracted and embittered by the dissensions of other lands. We would not have our country’s vigor exhausted, or her moral force abated, by everlasting meddling and muddling in every quarrel, great and small, which afflicts the world.”

I’m currently reading the above contemporaneous history of the 1920s. The above is a recital of some of what Henry Cabot Lodge said in the Senate in response to the Versailles Treaty. Now, while it is sound and in fact exactly what George Washington said in his going away speech way back when, it is odd to hear these words come from an ardent Republican.

Especially in light of the Republican Party now. They have become the party of the military-industrial complex, funding military research and expansion. Furthermore, they have become the Party of military commitment, as under Reagan we fought covertly in Afghanistan and Grenada, but committed ourselves to countless bases and containment policies which meant commitments of armed forces. And then under Bush we committed ourselves to a policy of containment against Iraq, imposing a no-fly zone under his leadership that continued through to Bush W.

I also have had conversations with diehard republicans who would much rather fund a military so big we can’t even use it all, and for which there is no need, than universal healthcare of any other policy of humanity and human rights. It is ironic that this is such a concrete difference between the two parties, that the military is so much a part of the Republican agenda that it isn’t even an issue during elections. It’s unassailable.

Guns and butter. There is only so much money to go around and if you buy guns with the money then you can’t buy butter. Buy butter and you can’t buy guns. The key is finding a balance between the two, something which has not occurred yet, and which may not occur until we have a major makeover of the politicians and their drive for money and power.

 

 

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