Let’s hope that McCain’s brand of pro-war Republicanism is dead

John McCain complains that the Republican field of presidential candidates are “isolationist,” that they don’t represent the consistently interventionist pro-war views of the Republican party that  he knows and likes. Here’s what he ad to say:

Senator McCain goes after his own presidential field in an interview taped for tomorrow’s “This Week”:
AMANPOUR: “Are you concerned though about the message we’re hearing? You’ve talked about the partisan [tone] in Congress. Are you concerned, for instance, about what Speaker Boehner is saying about this?”

McCAIN: “Well, I was more concerned about what the candidates in New Hampshire the other night said. This is isolationism. There’s always been an … isolation strain on the Republican Party — that Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak. … If we had not intervened, Gadhafi was at the gates of Benghazi. He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That’s a city of 700,000 people. What would be saying now if we had allowed for that to happen?”
AMANPOUR: “Well, you were one of the key supports. And what you’re talking is all the Republicans on the stage of that debate on Monday seeming to waver from what’s a traditional Republican position on national security.”
McCAIN: “Yes, I wonder what Ronald Reagan would be saying today.”
AMANPOUR: “What would he be saying today? If he heard, for instance, Michele Bachmann or Mitt Romney?”
McCAIN: “He would be saying: That’s not the Republican Party of the 20th century, and now the 21st Century. That is not the Republican Party that has been willing to stand up for freedom for people for all over the world, whether it be in Grenada — that Ronald Reagan had a quick operation about — or whether it be in our enduring commitment to countering the Soviet Union.”

Historically it has been progressivism, from the time of Teddy Roosevelt (McCain’s hero to Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war, that has been the ideology of interventionism and war. Let’s hope that McCain is right. Let’s hope that the conservative movement is getting back to it’s non-interventionist and anti-war roots. Maybe the Paul family is having an effect.

Roy Cordato / Senior Economist and Resident Scholar

Roy Cordato is Senior Economist and Resident Scholar at the John Locke Foundation. From January 2001 to March 2017, he held the position of Vice President for Research at the ...

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