John Cornyn helps keep neoconservatism alive by using its dumbest slogan

The War Party’s favorite catchphrase.

On the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, I wrote an essay at BASEDPolitics on the history of how the U.S. Left and Right have largely switched on foreign policy since 2003, outlining how in 2023 right-leaning Americans tend to be more in favor of restraint abroad while left-leaning Americans have become increasingly hawkish, similar to the neoconservatives of the Bush-Cheney era.

But I also noted that whether it was two decades ago or today, members of Congress are typically bipartisan in their eagerness to start and continue wars.

On Wednesday, Republican Senator John Cornyn gave everyone a reminder.

Here’s Cornyn’s clunky, cartoonish tweet in which he appears to be quoting Politico’s ‘Playbook’ paraphrasing Ukraine President Voldymyr Zelensky:

Many who have been following American foreign policy and the politics around it for a certain amount of time are well aware of the variations of the slogan ‘we have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.’

It is a longtime favorite catchphrase of neoconservative Republicans, no matter how mindless, illogical and arguably disproven it has become.

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I wasn’t the only person who took notice of Cornyn’s throwback.

Cornyn’s tweet was considered by many to be a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on Republicans like former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who have called for pursuing peaceful diplomatic solutions in Russia’s war on Ukraine, something that definitely angered hawks in both parties.

Yet, if you genuinely believed Saddam Hussein’s army (Iraq had no direct ties to al-Qaeda no matter how much the Bush administration and others lyingly claimed they did in a deceptive attempt to tie Saddam to 9/11) was going to invade Virginia Beach in 2003, or that Vladimir Putin’s soldiers will soon take Myrtle Beach, SC, you might say the catchphrase Cornyn just shared raised a valid concern.

But it’s silly. On its face. It’s something only a child could actually believe.

But it’s what hawks do.

Here’s a whole bunch of folks from both parties regurgitating this old neocon catchphrase, including President Joe Biden, Democrat Adam Schiff, and even Meghan McCain repeating it – it was a line her late father used often – on ‘The View!’

Literally the reverse of this stupid slogan is true: The primary action the U.S. could continue to provoke nuclear destruction ‘over here’ is to keep prolonging our proxy war with Russia through Ukraine ‘over there.’

It’s a slogan that’s as dangerous as it is absurd and should be derided as much as the Iraq war is today. Not that I expect neoconservatives and their allies in both parties to surrender a favorite propaganda tool.

Not that I expect John Cornyn to measure his rhetoric as a Washington leader who actually cares about his country’s safety.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for