Republicans Panic While Neo-Cons Rush to Clinton

by James M. WallMartin Niemöller

As the November 8 election looms larger with each passing day, Republican party leaders are now in a “panic mode”.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Donald Trump’s relations with the Republican Party – and his political fortunes – worsened dramatically  as party leaders fretted openly about the inability of his campaign staff to control him and even began to discuss what to do if their unpredictable nominee suddenly quit the race.”

Donald Trump bulldozed his way to the Republican nomination for president in a campaign in which the “unfit” charge was raised and ignored by an alarming majority of Republican voters.

So it comes down to the final bout between Trump and Clinton.

Pause, for a moment if you must, and ask the question about the third-party option. I repeat my answer that a third-party vote is a wasted vote. Movements don’t win elections until they enter the ring for the final bout.

Progressives came close to entering this year’s final bout behind Bernie Sanders. They lost, which means they must turn their zeal and energy toward building a successful progressive political party that will keep alive the ideals espoused by Sanders in his unsuccessful race against Hillary Clinton.

The Progressive option now is to look ahead to 2020 and mount another progressive campaign for the

Meanwhile, there is the vote on November 8 between a militaristic Hillary Clinton and her opponent Trump, who is not just filled with unclear and uncertain policy ideas, but has been described by no less an authority than President Obama as “unfit” to serve in the office.

Which candidate poses the greatest danger with his or her fingers on buttons of mass destruction? If you vote for Trump, or a third party, then you are exercising your freedom to select someone who is not only unfit for the office, but dangerous.

The case against Clinton as a neoconservative militarist is massive. It is just not massive enough to give the White House to a man Joe Scarborough reported on MSNBC who asked a foreign policy expert, three times, “Why can’t we use nuclear arms?”

Paul Jay on Real News Network said, during an interview with Lawrence Wilkinson, that Clinton or Trump offers a horrible choice.

Wilkerson is a retired United States Army officer and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is now an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary where he teaches courses on US national security.

In his interview with Jay, he said, “I would say in her first term she will get us into a war”.

In These Times was out this week with a piece on neocons for Hillary, identifying an all-star team of neocon heavyweights this way:

Concerned that Trump would “destroy American foreign policy and the international system,” author Max Boot told Vox that Clinton would be “vastly preferable.”

Historian Robert Kagan has also come out in favor of Clinton, saying he feels “comfortable with her on foreign policy.” Eliot Cohen, a former Bush administration official who has been called “the most influential neocon in academe,” declared Clinton “the lesser evil, by a large margin.”

She may be the lesser evil to many. She is also the first woman to come this close to the presidency in U.S. history. Her preference, as shown in many instances, for the military option over diplomacy, remains disturbing.

Her devotion to Israel and her willingness to explain away the many sins of the current right-wing Israeli government is in line with heavy majorities in Congress, though not in the US public.

It is not a good choice, but it is our only remaining choice. Clinton may surprise us with wise decisions on foreign policy. Certainly her appointive powers over the judicial branch would be a huge gift to this democracy. 

She remains the best available option for the presidency. Looking back, it would be wrong to link Trump to the rise of Adolph Hitler. Such historical parallels are always imprecise.

But the actions of any dictatorial-minded president may be seen as akin to what happened to the German people.

Remembering that era is to be reminded of what may happen to a nation when it votes for a leader because of ignorance, hatred and fear.

On November 25, 2015, the Washington Post ran a story about a TV ad from presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich, which paraphrased a warning from German Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller (picture at top).

Kasich was one of the opponents vanquished by Trump as he won the Republican nomination with a campaign built on fear and hate.

Niemöller’s original warning came in a sermon he delivered on January 6, 1946, to the representatives of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Kasich ad features a paraphrase of Niemöller’s famous statement which reminded his German audience of what led them into World War II horrors.

Niemöller said in Frankfurt, in 1946, a few months after the war ended::

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

In the video ad for John Kascih, Colonel Tom Moe, United States Air Force, and a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, paraphrased Niemöller:

You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with the government, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it’s OK to rough up black protesters, because you’re not one. And you might not care that Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one.

But think about this. If he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you, and you better hope that there’s someone left to help you.

The picture of Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller at top, is from

The picture of Donald Trump is cropped from an AP photo by Evan Vucci,

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
This entry was posted in Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Politics and Elections. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Republicans Panic While Neo-Cons Rush to Clinton

  1. mike matarwe says:

    Out of the millions of Americans who are eligible to run for the office of president, we come down to a 2 people and both are not very clean , and have stains on their past

  2. AWAD SIFRI says:

    Jim, Great rationale: I will have to vote for Hillary R. Clinton because she is the lesser evil, primarily because a nuclear war is not an option for humanity – unlike what Trump believes.
    However, as you said, it is vital that we work with a renewed Bernie Sanders movement, in order to bring about significant changes in 2020.
    If Hillary gets us into another American “war-for-Israel”, then she will be ousted in the next round. The American people will certainly not tolerate another war of choice.

  3. Sami Joseph says:

    Mentioning Hitler brought to mind a famous statement by Churchill where he said:
    “One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.” (Winston Churchill – Hitler and His Choice)
    Could this be what is needed by the US right now?

  4. Samia Khoury says:

    I had promised myself I would not comment any more on the American elections because all my friends responded the same way like you did, and in fact using the same quotation of Eliot Cohen. “Hillary is the lesser evil.” Of course for us Palestinians, it does not make any difference any more, because no matter who is elected, the policy never seems to change, and that is why we had hope with Bernie Sanders. However, I must admit it is beyond me to comprehend the system whereby a superpower like the USA with so many good and capable people, does not end up with the choice between a good candidate and a better one, rather than evil and less evil.

  5. Jack Graham says:

    The Republicans in panic are the Republicans who are used to taking orders from the Council on Foreign Relations on Wall Street. The Neo-Cons rushing to Clinton are also used to taking orders from the Council on Foreign Relations on Wall Street. Trump wants to make peace with Russia, and opposed the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton is the favorite of the Council on Foreign Relations because she will confront Russia and risk nuclear war, and was all too happy to please the Israel Lobby which claimed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction which he did not have. Hillary is the choice of the enemies of mankind on Wall Street who want one-world currency, banking, and government. How is it possible to say that Hillary is the lesser evil?

  6. Trump will drop out before the election. He may even drop out before the debates. His ego will not let him be crushed by a woman. Paul Ryan will likely be the man she will face in November, or this has been a Trump ploy all along to get Hillary elected. I have never seen anyone ever try harder to lose an election..

  7. Helen Marshall says:

    If, as Wilkinson says, she gets us into a war in her first term, it will not matter who she chooses for the judicial branch. We are looking at a possible, perhaps probable, nuclear exchange with Russia. Oh well. A little nuclear winter will help reduce global warming.

    I consider my vote to be a positive expression that this candidate is fit for the office. Voting for the lesser evil is still evil. In any case, the electoral college and the unverifiable election machines make it impossible to know who will really be elected this time.

  8. Jim,
    The problem with voting for Hillary as the lesser of two evils is that such an attitude assumes that the election will be won by popular vote rather than the electoral college. In every state where the outcome is clear (e.g., in Illinois, Clinton has a lock on the outcome and therefore the state’s electoral votes), progressives would be wiser to vote for Jill Stein. To vote for Hillary in state where she is sure to win (or sure to lose) is, in fact, throwing one’s vote away. However, where the outcome of the statewide popular vote is already clear (which is most states), it seems that voting for Stein the only justifiably progressive vote.

    In those states that are contested, Hillary is indeed the lesser of two evils, and voting for her as a way of influencing the next Supreme Court appointments makes sense–but only in contested states. Make sense?

  9. wallwritings says:

    Yes, the argument to vote for Clinton only in contested states makes sense. It is a logical conclusion in presidential elections with third parties involved. Just one problem. This 2016 election, with the Trump phenomenon tossing everything in the air, is not following our long-standing election assumptions. Trump’s victory state by state, remains a serious possibility, because his voters are angry, and may not show up in pre-election polling. And that is a danger to democracy. Vote for Jill Stein in Illinois if you like. But don’t complain if you are joined by so many other Stein voters that Trump grabs the state’s electoral votes. Better to be safe than sorry, Jim

  10. Jim Patterson says:

    Jim: Great article JP from PP

  11. Helen Marshall says:

    And we all avert our eyes from the likelihood that some, if not all, of the machines are already rigged.

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