Militarism Seeps Into White House

Donald Trump’s dictatorial tendencies were on full display this past week. First he announced the U.S. military would be deployed to guard the southern border. Whoops, against the law since 1878. So he signed  a proclamation to allow the deployment of National Guard, who are on their way to the border right now.

Before that, he nominated Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. Pompeo’s ability to be an honest broker in trouble spots is already impaired by his record of anti-Muslim remarks on the floor of the House.

To top it off, he quickly named John Bolton as the replacement for Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser. Bolton’s history as a strident advocate for war, who will twist facts to make his case and ignore those with whom he disagrees, is long and documented. Rep. Lee Zeldin thinks these are all fine ideas.

Zeldin approves of militarizing our border, thinks Pompeo is a great choice, and has yet to meet a tweet praising Bolton that he hasn’t liked, especially if it came from the President. He is enabling the President’s worst instincts and actions.

All of the above is part of  “America First:” Trump’s platform cloaked in militarism intended to enforce his xenophobic notion of national identity.

I worked in several countries in Africa and the Middle East as an advocate for democratic institutions, and I reject Trump and Zeldin’s nationalistic, culturally discriminatory agenda. The U.S. military should not be used as the enforcement mechanism for this radical worldview at home or abroad. If I’m elected to Congress, I will use my voice and influence to resist war mongering and xenophobic nationalism.

It’s time to have a new foreign policy based on respect for other countries and that makes peacefully resolving conflicts between and within nations a priority.  

David Pechefsky