Online opinion: Against left-wing extremism in the military
Our institutions aren’t what they once were. Opinion polls show overwhelmingly that trust in the government, in Congress and in business has fallen in previous years and remains low. One exception is the military, which is consistently among our most respected institutions. This reputation has been hard-won, over decades of apolitical service to the nation. Americans recognize that service by honoring our servicemen and -women, and extending our armed forces enormous respect and deference.
That legacy, however, is under attack. Our servicemen and -women are the same selfless servants of the republic that they have always been, but there is a growing movement among the climbers and the bureaucrats at the Department of Defense to turn the military into a tool of left-wing ideology. Leftists have completed their long march through the universities, through large corporations, and through our primary and secondary education systems. They see the military as one of the last bastions to storm in order to make their cultural control over our society complete.
The sad thing is that the military is strong because it is apolitical, because Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between recognize that its values are patriotism and its loyalty is to our Constitution. The moment that these leftists are successful, they will destroy that respect, and with it our ability to fight and win wars. So, while it gives me no pleasure to criticize their policy, this week I and 29 of my colleagues felt that someone had to act before the hard Left’s plans came to fruition without official objection.
And what are these plans? The first step is to replace fidelity to the Constitution with fidelity to identity-politics grievance. It goes under the name of Critical Race Theory, but what it really is about is destroying the commonalities that allow us to put America first in our hearts and race and ethnicity a distant second. An Introduction to Critical Race Theory, written by one of its founders and chief advocates, says this about the discipline:
Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.
In other words, it sets itself against our most basic values, like equal justice under the law, in order to replace them with a race-based calculus that governs every human interaction. To enforce adherence to these doctrines, the military, under pressure from the Biden Administration, has installed a new bureaucracy, one devoted to rooting out those who are not cowardly enough to submit and recite these new doctrines.
Bishop Garrison, a radical who stated that all supporters of President Trump were adherents of white supremacy, is now tasked with determining what is and isn’t an extremist view in the military. Those who refuse to submit to Critical Race Theory or persist in supporting the candidate of “white supremacy,” like 63 million other Americans, will be shown the door or have their careers destroyed. Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron, was relieved for opposing the teaching of these explicitly anti-American views.
The final phase is to re-brand the military completely in the eyes of the public. As the ideology is cemented in place and objectors driven out or marginalized, it's vital that the military pivot away from its typical recruiting demographics. That’s the goal of its latest ad, titled “The Calling,” which describes marching in left-wing social protests as “defending freedom,” depicts “two moms” raising a child, features a lesbian wedding, and refers to the subject of the video’s service to this country as “shattering stereotypes.” It certainly does shatter the stereotype of America’s military as a place where people go to protect America from foreign threats rather than continue a life of far-left advocacy.
I intend for our letter to be the opening salvo in a long pressure campaign to oppose these changes to our military, but one thing gives me pause: only 29 Republicans signed, about 15% of the Conference. The remainder appear to be continuing the traditional Republican posture of more money and more praise for the military that’s defined the congressional GOP for decades. We have opportunities in the yearly defense funding bill and defense authorization bill to make our voices heard and to stop the creeping left-wing extremism from happening, but it will take the cooperation of our entire Conference, speaking against these policies with one voice.
By taking aggressive and sustained action, we can continue to preserve our military as the finest fighting the world has ever seen and a bulwark of our constitutional order.
U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale represents Montana in Congress.