Rand Paul Heroically Warns Trump Against Hiring Neocons

Eric Zuesse

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), who voted against Obama’s TPP and virtually every other Obama sell-out to the international corporations which control the U.S. federal government, publicly warned the Republican President-Elect Donald Trump, on Tuesday November 15th, that John Bolton, whom many allege is being seriously considered for a high position in a Trump Administration such as Secretary of State, is a rabid neoconservative who “is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years — particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president.”

His statement, which was published on the news-site “Rare U.S.”, headlined (and can be read in full at) “Rand Paul: Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?”

It’s actually shocking: Here is a member of the U.S. Senate, even a member of Donald Trump’s own political Party, who will be voting as a U.S. Senator on things that President Trump will be trying to pass in the Senate — and he is now publicly warning this soon-to-be Republican President, that, in effect: I will stand against your Presidency to the extent that it repeats and maybe even exceeds (such as it would with John Bolton) the neoconservative horrors that were perpetrated by George W. Bush in Iraq etc., and by Barack Obama in Libya, Syria, etcetera. (Paul even was reported in the same day’s Washington Post as saying that he wouldn’t vote to confirm as Secretary of State either John Bolton or — a man who is another but lesser neoconservative who was being touted for the slot — Rudy Giuliani.)

This article by Paul is breathtaking. Here’s why:

A real opportunity now finally exists for a totally new coalition to develop in this country between Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, and the possibility for a Sanders-Paul independent new political party to be organized nationwide is now palpable.

Obviously, it would have to be a Sanders-Paul ticket, not Paul-Sanders, because only Bernie Sanders was consistently shown in the many opinion-poll match-ups between each of the two major-Party’s potential Presidential candidates, to be preferred above all others — Sanders was the clear top preference of the U.S. electorate. Paul was not. Furthermore, Sanders’s polled lead against Donald Trump was much larger than Clinton’s was and kept increasing over time, whereas Clinton’s was smaller and kept decreasing over time; so, the trendline specifically for a potential Sanders-Trump contest was increasingly favorable for Sanders, whereas the trendline for Clinton against Trump was increasingly unfavorable. A ticket with Sanders at the top of it will stand a real chance of winning more votes nationwide than either one of the two existing major-Party candidates for the Presidency will win in 2020, whereas a ticket with Paul at the top of it will not. That’s just a demonstrated fact, regardless of what any particular individual might happen to prefer about the matter. For the first time since 1860, a new “third party” would stand a real chance to replace one of the existing two major Parties (which at that time was the Whig Party).

Bernie Sanders has proven his ability to win the Presidency, to the extent that rigging of the election (such as did occur against him by the DNC etc.) can be avoided; but Rand Paul has simply not shown that ability. However, Rand Paul has now exhibited the extraordinary courage and independence to stick his own political neck out on this, the most important issue in any Presidential election (the issue of international relations, war and peace, nuclear weapons, and international trade, and much else that the general public care less about than about the U.S. economy that’s actually extremely dependent upon those bigger international issues and consequently less important than the international issues).

Rand Paul is by far the younger of the two politicians, but both of them seem to have remarkably good health, and a reasonable presumption would be that Rand Paul would find ways to expand the common ground between the ‘socialist’ Sanders and the ‘libertarian’ Paul and ultimately emerge to become President Sanders’s successor-in-office.

Neither Paul nor Sanders has ever been supported by the U.S. aristocracy — neither the ‘libertarian’ Koch brothers nor the ‘socialist’ George Soros, nor others of that ilk (commonly called “The Establishment”, or, simply “billionaires”) have been at all favorable to either of those candidates.

Whereas Sanders has shown the ability to fundraise sufficiently among non-billionaires so as to mount a real challenge against a major-Party candidate (Hillary Clinton), Paul has not. (Nor did his father, Ron Paul, when he ran for the Presidency, from the House of Representatives). The fact is that on the ‘libertarian’ side, the only Presidential candidates who can raise the major funds that are needed in order to compete effectively in a U.S. Presidential election, are (like Scott Walker was) ones who have sold out to the billionaires and centi-millionaires. It’s all astroturf on that side. By contrast, Sanders the ‘socialist’ was able to raise sufficient funds from a multitude of small donors, and didn’t need to depend upon the super-rich in order to be able to mount a really competitive campaign for the White House.

The basis thus now exists to replace one or both of the current two U.S. major political Parties. 

This situation might be fundamentally similar to that in the 1850s when one of the two major Parties, the Whigs, became replaced by the Republicans, who won the White House in 1860 with the former Whig, President Abraham Lincoln — and the Whig Party ended. The Democrats, of course, remained.

This time around, my guess is that it will be the Democratic Party that ends, and that the new Party — the third party, which will replace it — will be progressive and will be contesting against the Republican Party, which will carry forward the conservative banner into the future. The political contests going forward will then be between progressives versus conservatives. The Koch-style, mega-corporate, astroturf, libertarians will remain as Republicans. The Paul-style, populist libertarians will transition to become part of the progressive movement, which, for the first time, will institutionally recognize that businesses aren’t the enemy — mega-businesses (and especially their controlling families) are. The Republican Party will then more clearly represent the stockholders in U.S.-based international corporations. The progressive Party will then represent the public — not the billionaires and the centi-millionaires. The contest then will be clear, between those who favor “one person one vote,” and those who favor “one dollar one vote” (or “one share one vote”).

If that happens, it will be a very different America from the existing one, which is more “one dollar one vote,” on ‘both’ sides of the political spectrum.

PS: As I pointed out on 1 June 2015, Elizabeth Warren at that time showed in the then-existing polling-data as also being a much stronger potential candidate against any Republican than Hillary Clinton was; and, so, in the event that Sanders turns out not to be available to do this, then Warren (who like Sanders has a huge progressive following) also would be a person suitable to do it. But only a nationally prominent Democrat (Senator or Governor) who has a huge progressive following, would. Anyone other than Sanders and Warren who doesn’t already have a large national following among progressives (such as their fellow-Senator and progressive, Sherrod Brown) would first need to attain that high degree of name-recognition in order to be able to become a suitable candidate to do it. No third-party U.S. Presidential candidate can win who has not recently transitioned into that new party from being a U.S. Senator or state Governor in one of the existing two major Parties, and that person must also have widespread positive national name-recognition. There’s no other way to replace one of the two existing major Parties, than this.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Who Will Win the War Between Trump & The Neocons?

Eric Zuesse

The first big battle of the Trump transition into the White House is occurring over the fundamental issue that had caused the Establishment to repudiate Donald Trump: Which war will America prioritize — the one against jihadists, or the one against Russia (and also against any nation’s leadership — including the leaders of Iran — that is friendly toward Russia)?

A domestic underground war has thus long been raging between Trump and the neoconservatives (the people who want to resume the Cold War as being now a hot war against Russia by overthrowing all governments — e.g., Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, Bashar al-Assad — favorable toward Russia). It has been raging ever since Trump made clear early this year that he wanted to stop Obama’s war in Syria against Assad and Putin, and start a real war against all of the many jihadist groups that are trying to overthrow the secular Assad, and to eliminate jihadists in every country except the ones that are supporting them, which then would constitute state sponsors of jihadism and thus enemies of the United States. This is a war about war.

This war is right now coming to a head with the breaking-off, on Tuesday November 15th, of Trump’s conciliatory efforts to win the cooperation of the neocons, which group includes virtually the entire Republican Party foreign-affairs Establishment, both military and diplomatic, plus most of the Democratic Party’s foreign-affairs Establishment. These two ‘Establishments’ are actually two teams of one Establishment, and they are, now, after three successive neoconservative U.S. Presidents (Bush, Clinton, and Obama), almost entirely neoconservatives, especially on the Republican side (the Bush side).

Neoconservatism started in earnest on 24 February 1990 when U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush told his agents that though the Cold War was then ending on the Russian side, it wasn’t really going to end on the American side, even though they had all promised to the then-Soviet and future Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, that it would. The next President, Bill Clinton, followed through and expanded NATO, and his successors G.W. Bush and Barack Obama, expanded it even more and so we now surround russia with our missiles. We have also overthrown Moscow’s friends and allies — Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Viktor Yanukovych, and are still trying to do that in Syria — in order to weaken Russia still further, to go in then for the kill.

If Trump crosses Party lines in order to bring in the small segment of Democratic Party foreign-affairs Establishment who are not neocons, then he’ll face strong opposition from Republicans in the Senate and House, against passing significant portions of his Defense and State Department initiatives. His Presidency will then be crippled by the refusal of the Washington Establishment (the neocons) to provide the essential information and cooperation in order for the Trump Administration to have any major success in the realms of foreign affairs. The Establishment have lots of essential information and foreign-government contacts without which things cannot be done in international relations. Trump’s Presidency would then be stillborn.

The man who had organized the neoconservative revolt against Trump’s candidacy, and who recently but briefly held out an olive branch to assist the Trump team to select people to run U.S. international relations, Eliot A. Cohen, tweeted on November 15th, “After exchange w Trump team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They’re angry, arrogant, screaming ‘you LOST!’ Will be ugly.”

That’s all-out war: the neocons’ effort to sabotage Trump’s Presidency.

Another leading neocon, Daniel W. Dreznertweeted later the same day, “Btw, the scariest sentence in that tweet is ‘Flynn and Kushner are now controlling who gets basic posts.’”

That’s referring to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whom Obama fired as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency because Flynn opposed Obama’s prioritizing the anti-Russia war above the anti-jihad war: Flynn favored our working with Assad instead of against all of the jihadists not only ISIS (like Obama demanded).

And that’s also Jared Kushner, Trump’s anti-Palestinian and anti-Iranian Zionist Jewish son-in-law, who is just now learning that all the terrorism that’s been perpetrated against the United States and Europe comes almost 100% not from them (the anti-Zionists), but instead from Iran’s self-declared “existential” enemy, the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who have been deeply allied with the U.S. Establishment, or aristocracy, especially America’s billionaires, ever since World War II ended, and who still remain determined to, with U.S. help, conquer Russia, which (even above Iran) is their major competitor in the oil-and-gas markets. Here is what the Trump team don’t know. And, above all, they don’t know that the royal family who own Saudi Arabia were the main financial backers of Al Qaeda and of 9/11. The U.S. government is in the ‘uncomfortable’ position of being allied with the enemies of not only the American public but of every nation that’s not run by fundamentalist Sunnis and Sharia law. We arm them. We defend them. And, on occasion, we get blown up by them.

Trump and his family had better be able to be quick learners of reality and discarders of myths, because in the short time they’ve got left to start running the U.S. government, there’s a lot of U.S. propaganda they’ll have to unlearn, and a lot of hidden history they’ll need to learn to replace it.

They say they want to clean the swamp in Washington, but the swamp includes thousands of people who are refusing to help inform and train their own replacements. The neocons ever since George W. Bush (and here are 450 of the most prominent of them on just the Republican side) have had a virtual monopoly over U.S. foreign policy, and don’t want to relinquish it.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.