Exclusive: Neocons have deftly used the Left’s hatred of President Trump and the demonizing of Russia to lure liberals and progressives into an interventionist mindset to defend “American exceptionalism,” observes James W. Carden.
By James W. Carden
Last year, Donald J. Trump triumphed over 15 Republican primary opponents and a Democratic candidate with an impressive résumé largely on the strength of a simple four-word message: “Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s slogan worked even though President Obama offered the rejoinder, “America is already great,” and Hillary Clinton made the counterpoint that “America is great because America is good.”
Since Trump’s victory nearly a year ago, the major American media has often reprised the Obama-Clinton messaging that America is already great as though Trump, the most unabashedly jingoistic president since perhaps Ronald Reagan, needs reminding.
Yet in Trump’s Washington, where the bipartisan foreign policy consensus is wrongly perceived to be under attack, the Establishment has been circling the wagons in order to fend off what is viewed as Trump’s frontal assault on the core tenets of American exceptionalism.
Soon after the election, political and media elites, particularly those within Democratic Party circles, began to express their dismay at Trump’s seeming disregard for what, to their way of thinking, America represents to the rest of the world.
Two months into the Trump presidency, a former Obama State Department official whose specialty is described by the most amorphous and flexible of constructions, “human rights,” took to the pages of The Atlantic magazine to inform readers that since the November election “the global club of autocrats has been crowing about Trump” because he, like they, takes a dim a view of “democracy, human rights, and transparency.”
Autocrats, declared Tom Malinkowski, now a Democratic candidate for Congress in New Jersey, were said to be delighted by Trump’s election because,…