President Trump has focused the Republican electorate on immigration and re-calibrated its views on trade. When it comes to war, however, it looks like they still want more. The following graph is constructed using data from YouGov’s latest release. “Not sure” responses, constituting 22% of the total, are excluded:
Though it seems redundant at first blush, responses by both partisan affiliation and 2016 presidential vote are included to show that Trump voters actually express more bellicosity than self-identified Republicans do. Bill Kristol wept and so do I.
This spark didn’t catch, but the next one might. Iranian aggression, in this context, involves retaliation for assassinations against a force we’ve spent most of the last 17 years essentially on the same side as. Iraq is safe for Shiite retaliation today because we toppled the Baathists and reduced Sunnis to the status of enfeebled minority more than a decade ago. When we allowed Sunnis to breath again, ISIS was born. We then spent several subsequent years fighting alongside Solemani’s forces to destroy the caliphate we facilitated the creation of:
If American forces weren’t camped next door, there would be no Iranian aggression to confront.
We need more than just an end to the forever wars. We need to end the conditions that create more of them. Bring the troops home.