The 'Peace President' Lie
The claim that Trump was a “peace president” is a lie, and it is exposed as a lie simply by looking at the people that used to work for him in running U.S. foreign policy.
Trump reportedly plans to run against his own appointees by pretending not to be a foreign policy hawk:
Those close to Trump’s campaign operation say he plans to try and paint himself as an anti-war dove amongst the hawks. They believe doing so will resonate with GOP voters who are divided on, but growing wary of, continued support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.
There will probably be some credulous Trump supporters that echo this line, but no one else should take it seriously. One might be able to argue that Trump is relatively less hawkish than some of his most extreme appointees, but Trump ran a very hawkish foreign policy as president and the people he chose to run that foreign policy are reminders of just how bad it was. They are walking advertisements of Trump’s poor judgment and why he should never be trusted with power again. He and they are all discredited by the same record of failure.
Haley and Pompeo will struggle to differentiate themselves from Trump because their views are so closely aligned with his, but the same goes for Trump. He can hardly rail against them and call them warmongers without reminding everyone that he appointed a bunch of warmongers to top jobs in his administration. This is why attempts to reinvent Trump’s record are sure to fall flat. There is simply too much evidence that Trump agreed with and yielded to hardliners on virtually everything, and almost every foreign policy attack he makes on his appointees will have to be an attack on his own record.
The claim that Trump was a “peace president” is a lie, and it is exposed as a lie simply by looking at the people that used to work for him in running U.S. foreign policy. There was not a single day during Trump’s presidency that the U.S. was at peace. There was not a single war that Trump ended. Not only was the U.S. at war for all four years that he was president, but he escalated every war he inherited and nearly started a couple others. On Afghanistan, Biden managed to do what he could not.
It is important to get the record of what he did right in order to understand what he would be likely to do if he somehow managed to become president again. If Trump were elected again, he would not extricate the U.S. from existing wars, and he would probably end up blundering into a new one. He made a habit of appointing and listening to some of the worst people in the Republican Party, as he proved by surrounding himself with the likes of Flynn, McMaster, Pompeo, Bolton, and Haley, and in a second term he would be even less constrained than he was in the first.
Trump wants to run the same con that he ran seven years ago when he pretended to be antiwar. It wasn’t true then, as his record as president proved, and it still isn’t true now. Some antiwar people gave Trump the benefit of the doubt in 2016 in the hopes that he might offer something better than the status quo. That was a mistake, and there is no excuse for anyone to make it again today.
I suppose Trump could be a shameless warmonger (he certainly was) but at the same time, a marginal improvement over his own appointees in the form of Haley, Bolton or Pompeo, or, for that matter Biden or any Team D replacement.
He shot himself in the foot for re-election by bringing in all the neocon swamp creatures to run shop for him. He does not deserve a second's consideration for a second bite at the apple.