Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a leading foreign policy militarist in Congress, has been a vocal defender of Donald Trump, despite the candidate’s cozy relations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and his comments about sexual assaulting women. Cotton is close to neoconservative figures like William Kristol and his political campaigns have been backed by rightwing “pro-Israel” megadonors, including Sheldon Adelson.
The Tikvah Fund has worked closely with neoconservative think tanks and media outlets as well as many universities to promote conservative ideologies. Although until recently Tikvak was relatively little recognized for its influence on U.S. politics, the foundation demonstrated its ability to shape public discourse during the heated debate over negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program. In September, Tikvah’s head Roger Hertog was on hand at the Hudson Institute to award Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his efforts “to combat Islamic radicalism” and other services to Israel.
Rudy Giuliani thinks that a close presidential election contest could be stolen by deceased Democrats because that party “controls the inner cities,” lending credence to Donald Trump’s claim that the election is “being rigged.” Giuliani has proven a vocal proponent of the GOP candidate, echoing many of the real estate magnate’s campaign talking points, including agreeing with Trump that President Obama “founded ISIS.”
Donald Trump’s numerous controversial views on domestic and foreign policy are being overshadowed by his campaign’s increasingly hysterical and dangerous claims, like the accusation that the election is being “rigged.” Also driving attention away from the policy discussion are the recently released Trump comments lauding sexual assault of women, which have spurred many Republicans to further distance themselves from the real estate mogul, including several well-knwon neoconservative activists. Trump has also caused alarm abroad. The UN’s top human rights official said in a recent interview that Trump “would be dangerous” to the world.
Rep. Paul Ryan is a Republican congressman from the state of Wisconsin who was first elected to national office in 1998 and became Speaker of the House in 2015. Mitt Romney’s running mate during the 2012 presidential election, Ryan has struggled to balance his opposition to Donald Trump despite Trump’s popularity among the GOP base with his efforts to maintain a Republican majority in the House.
Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general and former director of the CIA and NSA, is an unabashed supporter of expansive NSA surveillance, torture, and hardline “pro-Israel” U.S. policies. He also thinks that if Donald Trump is elected president it could “create a crisis in civil-military relationships.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), the hawkish and fervently “pro-Israel” Republican from New Hampshire who claims that the Iran nuclear deal represents an “existential threat” to the United States, also appears to think that Donald Trump is a good role model. At least, that is what she said during a recent Senate campaign debate. However, after being widely ridiculed for her comment, she backtracked, saying that “neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have set a good example, and I wouldn’t hold up either of them as role models for my kids.”
As the GOP establishment scrambles for the lifeboats in the wake of Donald Trump’s disastrous campaign, Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, is moving full-steam ahead, writing big checks and mobilizing newspapers owned by his family to support Trump, even as the candidate careens toward a massive defeat.
Osama bin Laden surely died happy. He devoted the last third of his life to creating animosity between the West and Islam and to driving a wedge between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Today, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey are all estranged from the United States. And, as an unexpected bonus, so is Israel.
The world according to Trump: The American economy has tanked. Mexico has sent a horde of criminals over the border to steal jobs and rape women. The Islamic State, cofounded by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is taking over the globe. “We haven’t seen anything like this, the carnage all over the world,” he has declared.
During five decades of Israeli occupation, the number of Palestinian refugees has grown with every generation, saturating basic services in the 19 camps that are home to about 200,000 people in the West Bank run by the United Nations.
Among the lingering effects of this awful election campaign season will be widespread misunderstanding of serious issues of foreign policy, beyond even the habitually low baseline public understanding of many such issues.