Friday, April 3, 2015

Why Conservatives Oppose the Iran Deal

Because they always oppose deals with hostile countries, no matter what they say or who negotiated them. Jonathan Chait:
In the 1960s, the United States worked with the Soviets to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, a pact to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to states that had not yet obtained them. National Review denounced it as “immoral, foolish, and probably most impractical, a policy that makes nonsense of our defensive alliance in Europe, that favors our enemies and slights our allies.” Ironically, the NPT is now the legal basis for the international effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes. So the nuclear agreement conservatives originally denounced as folly is now the very thing they demand be upheld.

The right also fiercely opposed Richard Nixon’s opening to China. Conservative columnists called the administration’s recognition of the communist regime “the liquidation of the anti-Communist stance of the American Government” and compared it to (of course) Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler. They likewise denounced Nixon’s policy of detente with the Soviet Union as “one of the greater triumphs of the Soviet propaganda machine,” and the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) as “profoundly unwise.”
One could go on; if there has ever been an agreement with any of our enemies that American conservatives have supported, I can't think of it.

Always believing the best about your enemies may be foolish, but always believing the worst makes it impossible to get along in the world.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

This trend probably stretches all the way back to our earliest enemies - with oppososition to the Loiusiana Purchase from France based on the Quasi-War a scant three years prior, and opposition to the Jay Treaty with Britain (which led to the Quasi-War) based on the Revolutionary and Northwest Indian Wars.

To extend the metaphor even further, it could even be said that the original American Conservatives were British Loyalists.

That's the problem with resisting change - when it does eventually happen, it becomes the new status quo, meaning you now have to fight to retain the very thing you swore you'd never allow.