In the 2018 midterm elections, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) soundly defeated Republican challenger John James by more than six points. Despite the defeat, James announced on June 6 that he will challenge Sen. Gary Peters in 2020 (D-Mich.) for the U.S. Senate.
The Iraq War combat veteran is well-spoken, clean cut and a self-proclaimed “conservative outsider.” But don’t be fooled, James is nothing more than a stooge for the Republican party.
Before James’ policy positions are discussed, all of which completely line up with the GOP, his policy-void 2018 campaign must be analyzed. Most Republicans run for office on three things: cutting taxes, appealing to voters that are nationalistic and militaristic and claiming that the anti-American Democrats will raise taxes.
James did all of these things in 2018. Almost his entire shtick was that he’s a combat veteran that flew Apache helicopters in Iraq. The helicopter was quite literally on the campaign’s yard sign. One of James’ ads begins with him saying, “Hunting terrorists in the skies above Baghdad, there are two things you need: faith in God and a Hell-Fire missile.” In every single ad, his military service is mentioned.
Now, I’m not denigrating James’ service, but that clearly doesn’t qualify someone to become a U.S. senator. A candidate who panders that hard to the “Democrats hate the U.S. and our troops” Republican base, while using their own military service to push that absurd notion, is anything but an outsider. James also made the usual attacks against Democrats, claiming in an ad that the party is “godless,” all while Joe Biden, Barack Obama and other establishment Democrats are openly religious.
James’ second qualifying feature is that he’s a CEO and thereby a job creator. This, of course, is why he’s for cutting taxes and gutting the social safety net. Does any of this sound out of the ordinary for Republicans?
Those were the emotions that James campaigned on in 2018, but what are his actual policy positions? First, he’s made it clear that he is “100% pro-life; always have been; always will be.” James goes further, stating that this is the case even when a woman has been raped. James isn’t a conservative outsider, he supports exactly what is currently happening concerning abortion in deep red states.
His positions on foreign policy are even worse. James is a complete neoconservative. In an interview leading up to the midterm elections, he stated that Iran continues “to destabilize the Middle East.” Ironically, James served in an offensive U.S. war that actually did that.
He continued, “We can’t take our eyes off the ball when it comes to South America and also Africa.” James is essentially stating that the U.S. should continue to wage war, launch drone strikes and sponsor coups all over the world.
James is, in short, a puppet of the military industrial complex, just like all of the Republicans and most of the Democrats. If he becomes a senator, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing and co. will all be cheering.
Although James doesn’t have a policy position on issues such as climate change, based on his current policy positions and campaigning tactics, it’s a safe bet to assume that whatever the Republican party believes, he will “believe.”
While campaigning as an outsider in 2018 and probably in 2020, it’s important to remember that John James is nothing more than a Trump-backed politician who will put the Republican party before the wants and needs of the American people. Michigan deserves far better representation in Washington.