Bill Kristol doesn’t want to hear about how Americans are tired of war.
The forever-bellicose Kristol writes in the latest issue of The Weekly Standard that all this talk of the country’s “war-weariness” is nothing more than “an excuse to avoid maintaining our defenses or shouldering our responsibilities.”
Indeed, the consistently wrong pundit is right that most Americans these days don’t share his longing for war. And he correctly notes that the wars he’s spent the better part of the last decade advocating likely contributed to the nation’s fatigue.
A poll earlier this year found that even a majority of Republicans now view the Iraq War, a former Kristol-driven objective, as a failure. Nearly half of the country believes the war in Afghanistan was a mistake. And polls likewise show that few Americans back military action in Iran, a current Kristol-driven objective.
But Kristol thinks someone should be courageous enough to try and change those poll numbers.
“In fact, the idol of war-weariness can be challenged,” Kristol writes “A war-weary public can be awakened and rallied. Indeed, events are right now doing the awakening. All that’s needed is the rallying. And the turnaround can be fast.”
Kristol notes that Ronald Reagan (who else?) “ran against both Democratic dovishness and Republican détente” in 1980, five years removed from the Vietnam War.
By the time the next presidential election rolls around, Kristol fears it could be too late.
The next president will be elected in 2016, 15 years after 9/11 and 5 years after our abandonment of Iraq and the beginning of the drawdown in Afghanistan. Pundits will say that it would be politically foolish to try to awaken Americans rather than cater to their alleged war-weariness. We can’t prove them wrong. Perhaps it would be easier for a Republican to win in 2016 running after the fashion of Warren Gamaliel Harding in 1920 rather than that of Ronald Wilson Reagan in 1980.
Kristol closes with a plea for someone, preferably a Republican, to make Americans eager for war again.
“Will no brave leader step forward to honorably awaken us from our unworthy sleep?” he writes.