Bombing Syria was the type of "foreign policy idea Donald Trump was railing against all through the campaign," says historian Thaddeus Russell, "but clearly the [Steve] Bannon and Steven Miller faction is waning or being pushed out, and now it's a return to the good old days of Wilsonianism: killing people in order to save them."
On today's podcast, Russell joins Reason editors Nick Gillespie and Katherine Mangu-Ward to talk about the Syria bombing, why "presidents become more warlike over time," how the Trump Administration's divide over foreign policy is reminiscent of a similar split in the Reagan White House, Reason magazine's cover story on "Why the Wall Won't Work" ("a fine summation" according to the New York Times' editorial board), and the subtext of U.S. Army Gen. (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal defense of federal funding for public broadcasting on the grounds that PBS makes kids better good soldiers.
"[McChrystal's] argument is precisely [the argument] cold war liberals were making in the '50s, 60s, '70s, and '80s," says Russell, "which is that we need a single, unified culture that makes everyone identify as Americans before identifying as individuals."
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Photo Credit: S. Craighead/U.S. Navy/SIPA/Newscom