top: image via chat soup
bottom: Mark Sheinkman, Kent, 2016, oil, alkyd and graphite on linen, 32 x 54 inches
cover image for my most recent Bandcamp release, Chamber Bits.
click or tap to enlarge
For those still shocked and traumatized by the 2016 election it's pure heresy to suggest anything good came out of it. But some antiwar people are doing that. Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a left/right/antiwar think tank, notes that the Republican electorate has shifted away from Dick Cheney and his ideas of aggressive intervention:
In 2014, Republican Congressm[e]n Justin Amash and Thomas Massie fought for non-interventionism in their party but knew its leaders were eager to revert to a permanent war stance asap. Little did they know at the time that Trump, however imperfect, would soon bulldoze the GOP elite, neuter their power over the party’s base, and make peace more of a conservative value than war for a majority of Republican voters. Dick Cheney wishes he had a smidgen of the influence over conservatives that Trump does today.
Trump [has] called Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal a “wonderful and positive thing to do.” Trump’s primary beef with Biden is that he is taking too long to pull troops out, surpassing the Trump administration’s original May 1 deadline.
In other words, if Biden is doing something antiwar, Trump’s impulse is not to be reflexively pro-war like Cheney and [Lindsay] Graham, but to remind Americans that he’s even more antiwar than the current Democratic president. Not surprisingly, a majority of Republican voters are also on board with ending America’s longest war.
Meanwhile Biden openly calls Putin a "killer," meddles in Ukraine, stalls on rejoining JPCOA, etc. Might as well be Cheney's man but his election gave some 2016 traumatees personal closure so it's OK. (Of course those traumatees will claim that Trump's antiwar stance is all an act -- one acquaintance of mine believes if it weren't for covid, we would be at war with Iran right now. People believe what they want to believe.)