American Fire and Fury: Democrats at War

Summing the major conflicts the United States has engaged in since the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, we’ve spent nearly forty percent of the nation’s history at war. Between our revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, our civil war, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the interventions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we have eighty-nine combined years of conflict in our short 242-year history.

Looking at it from a leadership viewpoint, Republican Presidents, and Presidents whose party affiliations resulted in the modern-day Republican party, initiated seven of the eleven conflicts, leading to seventy-two years of lost American lives. Republicans William McKinley, Dwight Eisenhower, and George W. Bush all managed to engage in two wars within their presidential terms. Overall, wars initiated by Republican Presidents made up 950-thousand American casualties.

It is no wonder, then, why Republican leaders are looked upon as war hawks, strong on national defense, and often shun liberal candidates for not taking a more bullish approach to military engagements. However, the Mexican-American War, World War I, World War II, Iraq, and Afghanistan were all brought to a close by Democrats.

One of the most incomprehensible blemishes on America’s track record for forcefully imposing democracy around the world was our war with Vietnam, started by Republican Dwight D Eisenhower. It was Eisenhower, who himself often warned the conflict of a constantly growing and profitable military industrial complex would have upon leaders who should be finding peace. Quoting his speech from 1961:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Regardless off Eisenhower’s warning, his own war lasted for twenty years. In the time it took for America to withdraw from Vietnam, McDonald’s was franchised and sold nearly 20 billion hamburgers, Rock and Roll was invented, an entire civil rights movement came and went, Alaska and Hawaii both became states, the world put a man into space, then man on the moon, Medicare and Medicaid were created, Miranda Rights were adopted, color TV was invented, Sesame Street first aired, Watergate and the Nixon resignation transpired, laws blocking a woman’s right to choose were found to be illegal by the Supreme Court, and Bill Gates founded Microsoft.

Yes, Republicans have shown time and time again they will never hesitate to start a war. They also carry the unfortunate burden of never showing true drive to end a war, save the lives of American sons and daughters, and work through multilateral means to avoid these conflicts whenever possible. What would you say to a bully in a principal’s office who wouldn’t stop initiating fights? One thing I know is you sure as hell wouldn’t elect him president.

Ben GarvesComment