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Reclaiming Our Place in the World


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The Washington Free Beacon

Fred Barnes

November 6, 2022

This is a remarkable book that "combines history and current events, including my own experiences in the Army and the Senate," Tom Cotton writes. "For the latter, I've drawn on my own recollections, research, notes, and writings for speeches, op-eds, and so forth. For recent events, I've also consulted news stories in traditional media sources."

Cotton is being modest. He's not a braggart or a make-believe expert. His reading and research have been breathtaking, as a soldier, congressman, and, since 2015, a senator and adviser to Mitch McConnell, the leader of Senate Republicans. And, by the way, Cotton is from rural Arkansas where his family clan has lived and farmed for six generations.


Next came national politics. He won two House terms and a Senate career in which he became a McConnell ally. His Army and legal careers paved a new way to defend America's sovereignty and freedom. When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, he pushed for reform legislation to ease punishment of nonviolent prisoners. A tough-minded conservative, Cotton didn't go along. He voted no.


A century later, rioters created anarchy in Portland, Oregon, and other cities. Violent protesters were tolerated, rarely arrested. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed rioters as "people [who] will do what they do." Tom Cotton didn't buy this:


There's a direct line from Progressives to the Blame America First Democrats. Now, no one would mistake a prim, bespectacled professor like Woodrow Wilson for a Weatherman or leftist radical.

Indeed, BLM would justifiably condemn the virulently racist Wilson. But the Progressives, the New Left, and today's liberals share common premises. … They believe America is sinful and therefore deny that American power should be used in pursuit of American interests, as the Founders and Reagan believed. They differ only on how we should atone for America's supposed sins. The progressive tradition aims to redeem America by using our power on behalf of other nations or abstract ideals.

The Blame America First Democrats believe our sins are irredeemable; nothing good can come from this country, so American power—and perhaps America itself—should be dismantled.


Lodge would have none of Wilson's one-worldism. In a Senate debate, the Republican from Massachusetts declared:


You may call me selfish, if you will, conservative or reactionary, or use any other harsh adjective you see fit to apply, but an American I was born, an American I have remained all my life. I can never be anything but an American, and I must think of the United States first. And when I think of the United States first in an arrangement like this, I am thinking of what is best for the world. For if the United States fails, the best hopes of mankind fail with it. I have never had but one allegiance. … I cannot share that devotion and give affection to the mongrel banner invented for a league.

Lodge was not to be denied. He said Americans were being asked to "exchange the government of Abraham Lincoln, of the people, for the people, by the people, for a government of, for, and by ‘other' people." As Cotton writes, the struggle between Lodge and Wilson continues.

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Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” talks to Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton about his book “Only the Strong”; what specific warnings Joe Biden received about an Afghanistan withdrawal; why Biden’s foreign policy failed to take into account advice from countless experts; how Biden’s plan to withdraw all U.S. mechanics and support staff from Kabul helped guarantee that the Taliban would retake the country; the real mission to destroy American exceptionalism; how a leftist ideology was already infecting the government long before the long march through the institutions; why John F. Kennedy may not be as good as he is remembered to be; how JFK, much like the modern democrats, also gave too much control to “the best and brightest” of the expert class; why no Democrats ever push back against the radicalism of “the squad”; how easy it is to debunk the left’s lies about inflation; the real reason Democrats want to restrict US energy production; the dangers of the left’s success in reducing oil production and why they ignore the goal of US energy independence; why America is unable to help the Europe energy crisis by exporting liquid natural gas; the Nord Stream pipeline explosion; the new woke military training that our military recruits are receiving; why federalism is so important to protecting the diversity of the United States; and the dangers of transgender ideology on children.

0:00 Intro

1:53 Why Sen. Tom Cotton Decided To Write His New Book

4:27 How Joe Biden Failed The Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan

19:28 How Did Progressivism Begin?

28:53 Will There Be A Red Wave?

31:06 What Should Biden Do?

34:56 Wokeness & Divisiveness

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