Unless I’m missing something neither candidate for president appears to have an informed or deeply felt sense of the tragedy of war. Hillary Clinton was subjected, in the primaries, to sharp criticism from the left that she was too bellicose, was wrong to go all in on Iraq, wrong to support regime change in Libya, wrong to be so temperamentally activist in this area. When Moammar Gadhafi was killed in the field after the fall of his government she laughed with a reporter: “We came, we saw, he died.”
As for Donald Trump, he is usually equally aggressive in speaking of potential U.S. military actions, though it’s clear he hates war at least for himself. He did not serve and famously told Howard Stern that dodging incoming STDs was his personal Vietnam.
Our leaders are shallow on the subject of war. No, worse than shallow—they’re silent. Which is one reason they will likely not be fully trusted should they make rough decisions down the road on Syria, or Iran, or elsewhere.
War is terrible. That should be said over and over, not because it’s a box you ought to check on the way to the presidency but because you’re human and have a brain.
You should hate war. A 5-year-old knows that.