A number of prominent neocons calling themselves “GOP national security leaders”—including Michael Chertoff, Max Boot, Eric Edelman and Robert Kagan—have penned an open letter stating their opposition to the candidacy of Donald Trump.
“We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency,” the letter, posted at the War on the Rocks website, states.
“Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.”
On Wednesday Politico ran an article titled “Neocons declare war on Trump” and linked to the open letter.
Politico quotes Eliot Cohen, a former top State Department official under Bush “and a strategic theorist who argues for a muscular U.S. role abroad.”
“Hillary is the lesser evil, by a large margin,” says Cohen, signaling that neocons and Republicans may abandon the party.
Infowars.com ran an article early Tuesday covering the flight of the neocons from the Republican to the Democrat party (the neocons began in the Democrat party).
The Intercept also covered the spectacle.
“Trump has done much to trigger the scorn of neocon pundits. He denounced the Iraq War as a mistake based on Bush administration lies, just prior to scoring a sizable victory in the South Carolina GOP primary. In last week’s contentious GOP presidential debate, he defended the concept of neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is utterly taboo on the neocon right,” writes Zaid Jilani.
Several other neocons said they find themselves in an impossible position, constitutionally incapable of voting for Clinton but repelled by a Republican whose foreign policy views they consider somewhere between nonexistent and dangerous — and disconnected from their views about American power and values abroad.
Max Boot, a leading neocon and CFR member, tweeted his disagreement:
This article depicts “neocons v Trump.” Actually ALL serious, thoughtful people v Trump–conservative or liberal. https://t.co/qidcVXT5Sj
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) March 2, 2016