After the horrific attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, conservatives wasted no time in denouncing U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinians. Although it was not their intention in doing so, they showed the true nature of conservatism.
Advancing American Freedom, an “organization advocating for Conservative values and policy proposals” founded by former vice president Mike Pence, recently issued a letter to members of Congress titled “The Palestinians Must Be Defunded in the Appropriations Process.”
AAF “serves the Conservative Movement by developing innovative policy solutions, strategies, coalitions, and messaging that builds upon those accomplishments, expands freedom for all Americans, and hampers anything that would threaten America’s standing as the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.”
The text of the letter reads:
Dear Members of Congress:
We the undersigned demand the immediate and complete defunding of the Palestinians via the appropriations process underway this fiscal year. In light of the heinous war against Israel started by Hamas and supported by other Palestinian elements in the region, not one American taxpayer dollar should flow to or underwrite any Palestinian entity or person, whether government or non-government, whether direct or indirect, and whether military, political, or civilian.
The language in the relevant appropriations legislation, including continuing resolutions, composite appropriations bills, and individual appropriations bills, must be clear, very specific, comprehensive, and not able to be circumvented by unscrupulous bureaucrats.
We stand ready to assist you in any way to accomplish these objectives above. Thank you.
The letter was signed by more than 60 conservative “leaders,” including former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, Meghan McCain, American Values president Gary Bauer, former U.S. House member and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Media Research Center founder and president L. Brent Bozell, and Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Since 1946, the United States has given more foreign aid to Israel than to any other country. For the past 15 years, this has amounted to between $3 and $4 billion a year. And then there is foreign aid to other countries — the foreign aid budget request for fiscal year 2023 alone was $53 billion for 178 countries.
Yet no signer of the AAF letter has ever criticized foreign aid to Israel or any other country unless that country did something particularly egregious that they disagreed with. Never mind that dispensing foreign aid is an unconstitutional and illegitimate function of the U.S. government. Never mind that foreign aid spending has nothing to do with providing for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.
“Never mind” is the cry of conservatives. As long as the corrupt government of some country does our bidding, then never mind. As long as we can bribe some country to see things our way, then never mind. As long as we can enrich some American special interest who will benefit from the foreign aid, then never mind. As long as foreign aid advances some U.S. interest, then never mind.
Foreign aid shows the true nature of conservatism: Conservatives have no philosophical objection to the government taking money from American taxpayers and giving it to foreigners, NGOs, and foreign governments.
And it’s not just foreign aid they fail to oppose. Conservatives also have no philosophical objection to the government taking money from American taxpayers and giving it to organizations and individuals in America in the form of subsidies, vouchers, loans, EBT cards, awards, grants, and cash.
Once again, the “never mind” principle is in force.
As long as NPR doesn’t have too much of a liberal bias, then never mind that public broadcasting is an unconstitutional and illegitimate function of the U.S. government.
As long as the NEA doesn’t fund blasphemous or pornographic art, then never mind that funding the arts is an unconstitutional and illegitimate function of the U.S. government.
As long as welfare programs have some work requirements, then never mind that dispensing welfare is an unconstitutional and illegitimate function of the U.S. government.
As long as anti-discrimination laws don’t include sexual orientation and gender identity, then never mind that outlawing discrimination is an unconstitutional and illegitimate function of the U.S. government.
As long as CAFE standards are not too high, then never mind that setting fuel economy standards is an unconstitutional and illegitimate function of the U.S. government.
In light of the egregious war against the Constitution waged by members of Congress who vote for foreign aid spending, not one more American taxpayer dollar should flow to or underwrite any foreign person or entity.