I’m not the most diplomatic person (okay, you can stop laughing anytime.) I’m just an average citizen in a country with free speech, so I have no responsibilities to be a diplomat. That is not my calling.
Compounding my non-diplomatic style is the irrationality that I believe permeates our country with the election of a man who openly lies, then denies he lied in the face of video and audio evidence, a man who openly admits behaving like a sexual predator, then has multiple accusers confirm that he did what he bragged about, a man who has attacked members of the free press, and uses humiliation techniques on women, the free press, and minorities. It’s not something that I think people should be quiet about.
However, under most circumstances, a man like that cannot defeat the power of rational and reasonable people without guns to back him up.
We already know that the people who voted for Donald Trump are the same people who are armed beyond rationality. Since Trump won the election there have been ‘countless‘ incidents of verbal and physical attacks against the same people who Trump targeted with his campaign rhetoric. This comes at the same time that the FBI reports a spike in hate crimes in 2015.
We know that law enforcement in jurisdictions around the country have openly supported right-wing extremist positions on guns, immigration, and the murder of unarmed African-Americans.
We also know that the FBI is no longer unbiased in politics as they threw out a red herring (by the way, that is the proper use of the cliché,) about Hillary Clinton during early voting to energize Trump supporters and discourage Clinton supporters.
So our country’s future hangs in the balance of an impartial military. That is key. Our liberties, including my right to be non-diplomatic, is protected by an unbiased military. If the military becomes political, then everything we value about our country is at risk.
Active duty military, especially, those of significant rank, excel at maintaining the discipline that is expected of an impartial armed forces. Most military men and women keep our trust by not engaging in internal political discourse, because they have the guns…the bombs…the tanks…the jets…and all the weapons needed to enforce their point of view.
The election of Donald Trump isn’t scary until the soldiers who are meant to serve all citizens becomes the military who supports one political viewpoint of our citizens. The warning signs of movement in the military toward a political bias may include:
- the engagement and loss of political impartiality by active military personnel in social media
- the loss of respect by military personnel for citizens expressing their concerns and frustrations
- military personnel blaming liberals for discord and/or an attitude of “they brought them on themselves”
- insults and attacks by military personnel at those who express views with which they disagree
- military personnel ganging up on citizens to ridicule and intimidate
The above behaviors have been discouraged and punished by the armed forces in the past, but under a Trump administration, it is questionable if those behaviors would be subject to discipline. If not, then we will have seen a significant change in the restrictions that have kept the United States military impartial in internal politics.
I don’t oppose a soldier’s right to speak their mind, however, civilian control of the military is a basic principle of our democracy. Once the military begins siding with one political view, it is no longer serving all the citizens, and when civilian control and the military political view align, then who can oppose the might of the military and the whims of a dysfunctional civilian leadership.
It took Hitler five months to turn a democracy into dictatorship. He provoked people into responding to his actions, and then he used their response as justification to suspend the laws protecting the rights of the individual German people. In rapid order, Hitler’s supporters formed a gleeful police and military force that ended all dissent and put non-party government officials under house arrest ‘for their protection.’
Trump is not backing down from his provocative tactics he used to whip extremist into a frenzy. He has already announced that he will order the arrest and deportation of three million Hispanics on his first day in office. Children who are legally born in this country will either lose their parents or be forced to leave their country.
What is Trump trying to accomplish with this provocative action? I don’t know, but this is just the beginning, and Trump supporters are already attacking and intimidating innocent people across our country. Trump has continually exceeded our expectations of his depravity, there is no reason to believe that he will stop.
Our only hope is that we maintain an impartial military. If not, then Trump will have succeeded in helping Putin destroy our country.