In the mainstream narrative of American politics, the Republican Party is the pro-war party. After President George W. Bush took over, everything in America changed. He took advantage of the 9/11 terrorist attack to justify a global assault on whatever the threat of the moment was. One minute it was something in Afghanistan, then it was Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and eventually it expanded to include drone operations. All the while, Democrats were protesting the other party that was feeding the military industrial complex. When Senator John McCain was nominated to be the successor, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was chosen by Democrats to combat it.
But peace did not come when then-Senator Barack Obama took over the presidency.
Under President Obama, drone strike frequency has increased, interventions have continued, and all the anti-war rhetoric of the left was proven false. President Obama may belong to a different party, but he was still the same client of the military-industrial complex.
One would think that Democrats would feel betrayed. However, while musicians, celebrities, and activists screamed at former President Bush for supporting the war, there was silence when President Obama continued the war state.
Fast forward to this election cycle and both major parties had neoconservative hawks running for office. For Republicans, there was the former President Bush’s brother Jeb Bush, and Senator Marco Rubio, among others. For Democrats, there was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. How would the supposedly more pro-war party vote? How would the supposedly more anti-war party vote?
While Donald Trump may or may not be the ideal conservative or libertarian (and even questionably liberal), he’s hardly a neoconservative. Republicans opted for him this cycle, rejecting all other options. In an election where the nominee won more votes than anyone else in history, it is interesting that the brother of the man who started the Iraq War and an eager war hawk were both rejected.
Democrats, on the other hand, rejected Senator Bernie Sanders, while opting for Hillary Clinton.
In the months since, prominent establishment Republicans have expressed dismay over the failure to elect another neoconservative. This has led many members of the party to flee and even consider voting Hillary Clinton. Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are prominent examples of those who have abandoned the party, while Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz is openly considering supporting Hillary Clinton.
As if the transformation hadn’t yet been complete, Hillary Clinton is now seizing upon a traditionally Republican attack by slamming Trump for not believing in “American Exceptionalism.” An empty rhetorical term, it is often used to justify the government’s position as global police. Until now, though, it had predominantly been a Republican term.
The Democratic Party has completed it’s transformation to a neoconservative establishment. It has stolen away the minds behind the Iraq War, the advocates for widespread interventionism, and supporters of endless war. The party’s nominee has stolen the pro-war rhetoric from the Republican Party, establishing itself as a party that is eager to get more soldiers killed in foreign conflicts.
Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party have officially gone full neoconservative.