Stop glorifying Lindsey Graham

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On October 3, Senator Lindsey Graham told Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic, that the "love crap" between President Donald Trump and North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-Un "needs to stop." Meanwhile, he also advised Trump to stay in Afghanistan and Syria. His argument? That not doing so would continue the mistakes of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

But Graham has reinvented himself since the 2016 election. Once an ardent foe of President Trump, he's now his vigorous ally, making headlines for defending Trump's Supreme Court pick Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also lead the way in trying to replace Obamacare and supports Trump's tariffs on foreign countries. But beneath this new fervor for Trump's agenda, Graham still remains a steadfast interventionist who has never seen a war he does not support.

RELATED: RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION: Lindsey Graham speaks for a lot of America

Trump, for all of his faults, promised during the presidential election to draw back American involvement in foreign wars and from the world theater, calling it an "America First" strategy. Though he hasn't followed through on all of his campaign promises on foreign policy, he has succeeded in engaging diplomatically with North Korea and demonstrating that he isn't beholden to the neoconservatives who dominated Republican foreign policy for the last 20 years. He has also been hesitant to use military force to overthrow Iran, despite his own hawkish tendencies toward the Khamenei regime. Furthermore, Trump's administration has been relatively open to influence from non-interventionist figures such as Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky).

Graham, of course, is all for using military might to overthrow regimes we don't like. He called for an Iranian regime change should the Iranians refuse to comply with American demands on their nuclear program. He even suggested that conflict with Iran would be simple, telling former Defense Secretary Ash Carter that, in a hypothetical war between the U.S and Iran, "We win." Yet, there was no nuance in this discussion and no appreciation for the chaos another war would bring to the Middle East — as it did in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Graham has actively fought against non-interventionist causes, calling for more money and troops to be dumped into the Middle East. For Graham, a constant American presence is what keeps terrorists from committing attacks in the U.S. and he said that Congressmen who opposed increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan would be responsible for the "next 9/11." While Graham fails to realize that homegrown terrorists are the real threat to American security, he continues to support wars that cost thousands of American lives in the Middle East. An estimated 3,000 Americans lost their lives on 9/11, yet more than 6,000 Americans have lost their lives in the wars that followed.

Graham has suggested that scaling back American intervention and not going to war would cost American lives. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf summarized his arguments writing, "In each case, he argues that American deaths could result if his advice is not taken, but fails to contend with opportunity costs."

But if saving American lives is truly Graham's motivation for supporting American interventionism across the world, why would he continue to advocate for wars that have accomplished little outside of killing thousands of Americans and radicalizing individuals and populations against the U.S.?

Unfortunately, Graham's warmongering is not just limited to supporting American-led interventions. They also extend to our allies.

His recent firey words in defense of Kavanaugh by no means wipe out years of foolish and troublesome support for foreign policy.

Nowhere is this more apparent than his support for the Saudi Arabian intervention in Yemen, where tens of thousands have been killed in a civil war. American bombs dropped by Saudi warplanes killed thousands of Yemen citizens. And these aren't accidental deaths. Saudi Arabia intentionally kills its own civilians. The government has bombed weddings, factories, and hospitals with America-made munitions that Graham voted to give them.

A cynic can point out that Saudi money flows through Congress, and link it to the fact that Saudi Arabia continues to receive American support despite bipartisan concerns. The Center for Foreign Policy's Ben Freeman pointed out that Graham's office was contacted the most times by Saudi Arabian lobbyists during the debate over authorizing a $500 million arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

There's no denying it: Graham is a warmonger. Thus, no matter how close he inches toward Trump's camp, his formidable interventionist streak will muddy his rechristening as a MAGA advocate. His recent firey words in defense of Kavanaugh by no means wipe out years of foolish and troublesome support for foreign policy that has been responsible for the deaths of thousands. Trump supporters and Kavananugh fans alike would do well to keep that in mind—and, perhaps, forgo the standing ovation.

Elias Atienza is a Young Voices contributor. Follow him on Twitter at @elias_atienza.

Christians are conflicted when it comes to President Donald Trump. Some proudly support him and his policies, while others just can't accept the man behind the boorish language.

Ruth Graham, daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, joined Glenn Beck on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to make a case for the president from a Christian's point-of-view.

Watch a the clip from the podcast below:

Watch the full interview below:


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WATCH: Dem goes to Trump rally and realizes Dems are screwed in 2020

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On Thursday's radio program ,Glenn interviewed Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, who described what it was like attending a President Trump rally as a Democrat. She told Glenn Beck that crossing party lines is nearly forbidden in liberal circles but she branched out anyway — and learned quite a bit about the other side.

Watch the video below for more on this story.

youtu.be

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Ryan: Bernie at the airport Holiday Inn

Photo by Sean Ryan

(Part One) . (Part Two). (Part Three).

Some poor guy booked a hotel at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center in Des Moines on February 3, 2020, assuming it would be a harmless Monday night. Only to find himself in the middle of an overflowing Bernie rally on the night of the caucuses.

For the record, the man was not a Bernie Sanders supporter. Far from it. He popped his head backward when I told him where I work, smiling. Well, grinning, to be precise.

*

After her speech, Klobuchar wandered into the crowd, immediately submerged. Selfies. Everybody wanted them. A minute later, the other candidates began to appear on screen, giving speeches.

"Bernie," asked Justin Robert Young, host of Politics Politics Politics.

"Bernie," I said, and we paced to the car and lurked out onto the depopulated streets and the trenchant cold. But we were both bright with excitement, a couple of detectives. The valet attendants in their satin outfits saw two oddities, and they were right.

Justin Young and I had just left the Des Moines Marriott Downtown for Amy Klobuchar's "Amy for America caucus night party." She gave her speech, in a brilliant maneuver. I skated the Nissan down empty streets, quietly listening to Bernie's speech on the Iowa Public Radio station.

"I love this, what we're about to do," I said, gripping the wheel, words hurried, leaning forward, tapping my left boot. "We're going to hear Bernie talking, then we'll park, then walk through some doors and we will stroll into that very room as Bernie is giving the speech that's being broadcast to millions of people."

It was like how in the game Mario Bros., Mario can jump into giant green storm drains, occasionally. Like leaping into the television and joining the cast.

"There's nobody out on the roads," one of us said. "Holiday Inn, right up there." As broad-winged commercial airplanes floated overhead. We scoured for a parking spot and each second felt wasted. Urgent. We needed to be inside that hotel. But there was nowhere to park. Even the illegal spots were taken. Cars had creviced every inch of parking lot and curb and all that, had even jammed into dark pyramids of sludge.

*

Rita Dove wrote, "I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on."

*

There were so many more journalists press at Bernie's event that the only media spots left were in the overflow room, which itself seemed at capacity. Dank, too. With a heavy vibe, like a sinister library.

The entire hotel exuded gloom. A quietness you hear in locker rooms after a game that should have ended differently.

Bernie supporters, dazed, stomped out into the snow, or to the bathrooms, or just in need of a bit of stomping.

*

Back to Beechwood Lounge, where we watched the Super Bowl a day earlier. Although it felt like a week had passed since then.

Approaching midnight, by that point.

Because Justin consumes politics with an all-encompassing urgency. As if it's a duty. He's clearly studied history and politics for years. Part historian, part political scientist, but also part reporter and part comedian. On one hand, he's guided by the old school approach to journalism. Objectivity. Solemnity. Accuracy.

An American has the right to tell nobody who they voted for. Or maybe it's a cultural thing.

Snow everywhere you look, piles of it full of gas and oil, and rubbish as well. That day was unseasonably warm. The next would plummet us into literal freezing. The kind of day that slows everyone down. With all that ice, you have to be cautious about every step.

Shame is for the uninitiated.

Thanks for reading. New stories come out every Monday and Thursday. Next week, a look at Socrates' sarcasm and Cardi B's political aspirations. Check out my Twitter. Send all notes, tips, corrections to kryan@blazemedia.com

In 1990 Michael Bloomberg's employees created a short book full of crude, sexist, and shocking quotes he allegedly said at work, including one story that has him telling a female employee to "kill it" after she announced she was pregnant. Sadly, that story has him fitting right in with the Democratic party in 2020.

The booklet, titled, 'Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg,' has resurfaced to haunt the Democratic presidential candidate after "The Washington Post" published the full text on Saturday.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere (filling in for Glenn) shared some of the less colorful (many were too lewd to be repeated on radio,) but no less disgusting quotes.

Watch the video below:

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