(PatrioticPost.com)- March 20 marks the 20th anniversary of when the United States and its allies invaded Iraq. The war has colored American politics since then for better or worse and was greatly consequential to the elections of 2004, 2008, and 2016, according to a report from the defense and national security website 19FortyFive.
Public sentiment has since changed since 2004 when George W. Bush was advocating a strong war policy. His Democratic challenger, John Kerry—who is now parodically considered the “climate czar”—instead wanted negotiated peace and a withdrawal of U.S. troops. Today, that position is most popular and is another speculative factor that won Barack Obama the presidency in 2008 against a pro-war John McCain, indicating four years of changing public opinion.
The sentiment in parties then flipped when former President Donald Trump was facing off against Hillary Clinton in 2016, who he painted as one of the Democrats’ most hawkish members. Joe Biden himself was on the “wrong” side when he switched his position from pro-war to withdrawal between 2005 and 2020, according to security expert Dr. Farley.
As Farley notes, the Iraq War generally led to decadence in Americans’ trust in government, especially when it came to foreign policy. While overlooking the Vietnam War, Watergate, and Iran-Contra, the Iraq War was a clear and most recent example of the government misleading the public. As it turned out, the evidence that Iraq contained weapons of mass destruction was not as strong as it first appeared.
After the Democratic Party moved to its anti-war position in 2006, “anti-system” politics reportedly spurred on both the left and right. On the left, that sentiment turned into a critique of capitalism as indicated by Occupy Wall Street in 2008. On the right, it became what many conservatives are now arguing against—globalism, internationalism, war hawks, and free market capitalism at the expense of American industry.