John McCain, the Anti-Conservative
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
He’s always available for the news programs. Arizona Senator John McCain receives friendly airtime and is relied upon for his perspective because of his willingness to stand apart from true conservatism – which is based on the U.S. Constitution’s limitation of the federal government. The media love him, not because he’s a traditional conservative, but because he’s a neoconservative.A neoconservative is a partisan for socialism, big government, and war to force the movement’s view on others. Neoconservatism had its birth in the 1970s when a group of Democrats abandoned that political party and declared themselves newly minted Republicans. Led by Irving Kristol, the self-proclaimed “godfather” of the movement, neocons have followed his lead in calling for “a conservative welfare state.“ They also roundly condemn “isolationism,” preferring military action almost anywhere. Kristol frequently and proudly expressed his affection for Leon Trotsky, who partnered with Josef Stalin in the takeover of Russia in 1917.
On February 19, 2017, Jon Karl interviewed Senator Rand Paul on ABC’s “This Week” program. Asked to explain John McCain’s frequent criticisms of President Donald Trump, Paul stated:
I think Senator McCain’s perspective is colored by his disagreements with President Trump on foreign policy. If I were to look at foreign policy, I would say that John McCain has been wrong on just about everything over the last four decades.
He advocated for the Iraq War, which I think destabilized the Middle East. If you look at a map, there are probably at least six different countries where John McCain has advocated having U.S. boots on the ground.
John McCain’s complaint is we’re either not at war somewhere, or if we’re at war, we leave too soon. So we’re not there soon enough, and he wants us to stay forever wherever we send troops.
McCain’s affection for war as can be found in some of his recent Senate votes. Last September, the Arizona senator supported a measure calling for sending tanks to Saudi Arabia that could be put to use in the Yemen struggle. Had his intention not been blocked, the U.S. would have been more heavily involved in yet another Middle East conflict.
Then in December 2016, McCain supported the huge $611.2 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which supplies funding for military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. This enormously expensive measure also called for the creation of a “Global Engagement Center” that will finance U.S. activity in countering foreign state propaganda efforts. In other words, the U.S. will be meddling in other nations and calling it part of needed defense of our own. Critics say this new center will drag our nation into more conflicts.
John McCain spent several years as a prisoner of the Communist North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. He rode that credential into gaining a place in Congress as a conservative Republican, a reputation he never deserved. His performance has never seen him siding with traditional conservatism and determined non-interventionism. That’s why the liberal media goes to him for his comments about President Trump and anything that even hints at rolling back big government and having America’s military less involved in skirmishes all over the globe.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
John McCain May Acquire More Neoconservative Allies in 2015
by JBS President John F. McManus
When the 114th Congress convenes in January, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) will become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Together with fellow neoconservative Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the two have always called for more uses of our nation’s military. They like the idea of a U.S. empire that, supposedly, would make the world a better place. But the rest of world doesn’t want the U.S. dictating its policies.
Neoconservatives have always liked war. They want U.S. forces to meddle militarily in a variety of spats between nations or among groups of nations. If some countries don’t like their plan, McCain and Graham try to figure out some way to insert America’s nose as well as bombs into the situation. Only a few years ago, McCain was actually heard singing “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!” in remarks he delivered at the Senate podium.
McCain and his neoconservative allies wanted U.S. forces in Libya in 2011. They didn’t prevail. They want deeper involvement in Syria and have only been partially successful. Lately, they want stepped-up U.S. meddling in Ukraine and against ISIS.
Washington watchers have suggested that the neocons are likely to increase their numbers as a result of newly elected Republican senators. Georgia’s Perdue, Alaska’s Sullivan, Iowa’s Ernst, Arkansas’s Cotton, North Carolina’s Tillis, and Louisiana’s Cassidy are potential allies of the McCain/Graham faction. We hope we’re wrong about some or all of these new senators. Other returning fence-sitters who might want to add more targets to battle America’s military arm may bow to McCain’s leadership when he takes over command of the Armed Services Committee.
Opponents of neoconservatism are regularly dubbed “isolationists” by the mainstream media. The use of that term is supposed to end the argument and force anyone who resists the urging for increased involvement to be considered an uncaring Neanderthal. Substitute “non-interventionist with sons, daughters and wallets” for the “isolationist” label and the intended stigma quickly evaporates.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson suggested avoiding international squabbles. John Quincy Adams said America “goes not abroad searching for monsters to destroy.” This is timeless advice that should never have been abandoned.
The U.S. has troops stationed in well over 100 separate nations. It’s time to bring them home. Instead, current leaders are sending more back into Iraq while refusing to honor the pledge to have all American military forces out of Afghanistan by January 1, 2015. John McCain and Lindsey Graham must be delighted. Let’s hope that their numbers do not increase in the new GOP-led Senate.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.