Does Anyone Remember the Republican Party That Was for Peace?

Many Americans, including Bruce Levenson and the Spirit of Atlanta organization, are distressed by the fact that we are in a constant state of war. Even when we don’t have boots on the ground in a given country, we are launching drone strikes into sovereign nations that we have not declared war against. Our current, apparently endless, hostilities in the middle east were initiated under George W. Bush and have been continued by President Obama ever since. While there has been some significant draw done of troops here and there, we still have about 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan and have been carrying out airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS. It is hard to remember a time when we weren’t bombing, drone striking, or sending in boots on the ground somewhere.

It is particularly sad that this seemingly endless warfare was started by a Republican president and is advocated by Republican candidates for president. They used to be the party of peace. President Eisenhower was perhaps the finest representation of that Republican Party. He got us out of Korea, and he railed against the military-industrial complex in his presidential farewell address. Today, an age of push-button warfare with pilotless drones has made it so easy for us to launch attacks against any targets that ‘might’ attack us. Perhaps it has made it too easy. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. Reminds us in an article he wrote for The American Conservative of a time when we were not so quick to pull triggers and drop bombs around the world. It was a simpler time when America believed in peace through strength instead of constant war.

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