On Tuesday, the overwhelmingly outspent ten-term North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones defeated his neoconservative, establishment-backed opponent and former Bush II official, Taylor Griffin.
Griffin was endorsed by Sarah Palin and heavily subsidized by Sheldon Adelson—but to no avail.
This is huge news, for it signals a potential change of the tides in both the GOP and the “conservative” movement.
Jones, you see, is very much a man of the old right, a conservative, not a neoconservative.
Though a one-time supporter of the Iraq War, he has since become not only one of its staunchest critics; Jones has become an impassioned opponent of the entire missionary foreign policy vision that informed the decision to invade Iraq and for which the GOP became known—notorious—during George W. Bush’s tenure in office.
On Jones’ website, there appears a rapidly changing ticker calculating the costs of America’s wars since 2001. Visitors are informed that to subsidize the 1.5 trillion dollarsthat have been spent on our foreign adventurism over the course of the last 13 years, American taxpayers payon an hourly basis well over 10 million dollars!
Jones makes his position on this issue clear:
“Our Constitution, a document I have sworn to protect and defend, explicitly states that our nation does not go to war without Congressional approval. I believe in our Constitution, and I will continue the fight to prevent the president from waging war unilaterally.”
Jones has taken President Obama to court for violating “the Constitution and the War Powers Clause” in launching “war against the Libyan regime without authorization from the U.S. Congress.” He has also proposed legislation “expressing the sense of Congress that it is an impeachable offense for any president to wage offensive war without prior Congressional approval” (italics original).
In addition to the exorbitant costs of sophistically redefining the “national interest” to justify military activism anywhere on the globe, the newly re-elected incumbent identifies another fatal objection to this utopian enterprise: it is inimical to liberty. Jones declares his intentions to “continue the fight to reign in the executive branch and restore power [liberty] to the citizens of our nation” (emphasis added).
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.