Although the focus of last night’s Republican debate was on the economy and business, predictably, attention was given to the nation’s present and future military strength, or lack thereof. Republicans have typically hoisted claims to patriotism measured by their firm commitment to maintaining and increasing the budgets of all aspects of the military. From the days of the “cold war”, and looming possibilities of nuclear attack from the Russians, the spread of communism before and during the Vietnam era, and current threats of terrorism, particularly by religious factions from the Middle East, the mantra of most of the Presidential hopefuls raged on. As always, it is the continuation of politics of fear. Indeed, mention was made of beheadings and threats of impending attacks against Americans. Candidate Carly Fiorina spoke of how the United States must deal from a “position of strength”, not weakness (ironically, a concept she seemed never to grasp during her tenure as a CEO at Hewitt Packard). She said she would not even speak with Putin if she was President, a position even she must know is asinine. She is for a no-fly zone in Seria, a move that would directly challenge Russia’s current policies– somehow, that does not seem like a smooth move (Bush supports the flying restrictions as well). Donald Trump has continuously stated that he would create the strongest military ever, but he doesn’t say how he would accomplish this. Moreover, Trump has not satisfactorily explained why this is necessary given our current dominance in military powers throughout the world. Rand Paul made sense when he said a true conservative doesn’t support enormous military spending; a trillion spent here and there, when added up, becomes a huge amount of money. But in this hawkish climate, talk of limiting military spending does not fly well.

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