While there doubtless exists exceptions to the rule, the Trump era has made it painfully clear to those who are willing to look that, generally speaking, the left is devoid of principle.
For example, during George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House, the American (and European) left was vociferously “anti-war.” Most Democrats in Congress voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq, but once Americans began to recognize the war for the unmitigated debacle that it was, Democrats, being the crassest of opportunists, not only turned against it; they led the left’s campaign of vilification against Bush.
Now, the Iraq War was indeed a conflagration, one for which every politician and media personality who used their influence to advocate on its behalf should be eternally apologetic. And GW Bush is as richly deserving of the judgment passed upon him by the American public near the end of his second term as any public figure has ever been (and I’m saying this as someone who has always voted Republican and who, to my eternal shame, supported Bush both in 2000 and 2004).
However, Bush and his war’s critics on the left have proven themselves to be unequivocal frauds.
Although “conservative” media personalities and the Republican bureaucrats and politicians for whom they had customarily run cover still speak as if Barack Obama was some kind of pacifist, the truth of the matter is that Obama enjoys the dubious distinction of having used the American military to wage war with more countries and over a longer period of time than any other president in the country’s history:
For eight (long) years, Obama dropped over 100,000 bombs on seven countries.
Yet the left’s “anti-war” stance evaporated overnight once Obama was elected to the presidency.
Now that Donald J. Trump has become the left’s chief villain of choice, Bush and virtually every one of the left’s Republican villains from yesteryear—i.e. those who are either “Never Trump” or who distance themselves from Trump—derive the same benefit that Obama reaped insofar as they now receive a pass for the crimes with which the left once charged them.
One Republican—or is it a former Republican?—who is particularly conspicuous in this regard is the man who once served as a foreign policy adviser for John McCain: Max Boot.
Boot, a neoconservative pundit who describes himself as a “military historian,” is every bit the war monger as was the man whose presidential aspirations he tirelessly endeavored—and failed—to realize. A one-time star of sorts of Big Conservatism, Boot’s voice could once be heard quite regularly on talk radio, Fox News, and in the pages of The Weekly Standard, Commentary, and other staples of neoconservative media.
Admittedly, though, his voice is not hard to miss, for it belongs to a chorus composed by his fellow ideological travelers, a chorus that, almost without exception, repeats a single song: the call for American hegemony over the planet.
Remarkably, Boot’s voice may have been the loudest. Even among this crowd, Boot’s crowd, of militarist zealots, Boot’s bellicosity proved itself second to none. This is no mean feat.
Boot was a tireless advocate for the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, short-term battles, by his lights, in the long-term neocon project to fundamentally remake the Middle East in the image of “Democracy.” Even after well over a million inhabitants of these Islamic countries were killed, nearly a million children orphaned, and hundreds of thousands more displaced, maimed, and traumatized, Boot was among those who turned his attention away from the bloody mess that he helped to create and toward Syria, the next Middle Eastern Islamic country upon which he wanted to unleash the full might of the American military.
Not only did Boot exercise his influence toward the end of bringing about the incalculable suffering and carnage of massive numbers of Middle Eastern Muslims. Thousands of American men, soldiers, died for the sake of prosecuting Boot’s crusade for global Democracy, a dream that has been a nightmare for the families of the deceased, as well as for the many more who survived Boot’s wars over there, but who struggle here daily with the varieties of psychological and physical trauma with which the pursuit of Boot’s utopia has burdened them.
This is all worth revisiting, for Boot is now as staunchly “Never Trump” as he has always been staunchly in favor of war. In fact, he is among those Never Trump neoconservatives, lifelong Republicans, who is calling for the defeat of the GOP next month. This is necessary, Boot insists, in order to “rescue” the party and the conservative movement from the ravages visited upon it by the President and…“white nationalism.”
Not long ago, Boot—who now writes for The Washington Post and who contributes to MSNBC—wrote that he had just discovered the myriad of ways in which has benefitted from his “privilege” as a white male. His immense arrogance aside, that Boot is the consummate virtue-signaler, ever eager to ingratiate himself to the militantly anti-Trump left, is readily obvious by the fact that in this confessionary essay, Boot doesn’t once so much as hint at the possibility that it is his white male “privilege” that blinded him to the death and devastation of legions of Islamic peoples of color that could result, and that did result, from pursuing his own ends.
Nor, of course, did Boot apologize for any of this mayhem.
And yet this is the same man who now assumes the moral high ground over those like President Trump and his millions of supporters who not only don’t have any of the blood that Boot and his comrades have on their hands, but who want a more peaceful and humble foreign policy.
Max Boot is at least as contemptible, and perhaps even more so, than his new friends on the anti-Trump left. They truly deserve one another.