Today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Stating that "the world is falling apart," Sen. Graham has clearly set out to frame himself as the "foreign policy" candidate for the GOP. However, the truth is that he is just another Republican who would reinstate the failed foreign policies that led the country into a dangerous and unjustified war.
Sen. Graham’s strong tendency for military action is worrisome, given the present state of foreign affairs rife with complex problems that military action cannot solve alone. At a time when a diplomatic deal with Iran is imperative for peace in the region, a candidate who talks in military extremes is no fit for leadership. Furthermore, as one of the 47 Republican senators sending a disruptive and dangerous letter to Tehran during negotiations with Iran and undermining the president’s role in the conduct of foreign policy, Sen. Graham has not only illustrated his reckless approach to regional peace, but also a disrespect for the diplomatic process in general. These are troubling aspects when considering future leadership towards international cooperation.
Paul Waldman, a senior writer at The American Prospect, writes in the Washington Post:
Unless his entire career has been a ruse, [war is] exactly what we’d get with a Lindsey Graham presidency. You thought George W. Bush liked to play on Americans’ fears to justify military action? Well that was nothing. Lindsey Graham has never met a foreign policy challenge that didn’t terrify him down to the marrow of his bones. Let the other candidates treat voters like children, telling them that there are serious threats to America that must be confronted. Only Lindsey Graham has the courage to look voters in the eye and say forthrightly: terrorists are coming to kill your children, unless Iran gets to them first and incinerates them in a nuclear blast.
For Graham, the threats are everywhere. Domestic? You betcha — he needs his AR-15 because there could be a natural disaster resulting in “armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods.” Foreign? Oh goodness, yes. On ISIS, “This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.”
For Graham, not only is the world filled with specific dangers, but it’s terrifying in an overarching way, leading to a kind of free-floating anxiety that seems to influence how he views any particular issue. Others may see a threat here and a threat there, but Graham knows that they add up to certain doom. Two years ago, he told Fox News, “The trifecta from hell is unfolding in front of us. Iran is about to get a nuclear weapon, Syria is about to infect the entire region, taking Jordan down, and Egypt could become a failed state…I’m just telling you, we live in the most dangerous times imaginable.”
The coming elections are too important for fear-mongering and attempts to pull the country back towards failed policies. We hope that if Sen. Graham is serious about his candidacy, he will in turn be serious about the challenges facing our country on the world's stage.