How Not to Unify the Country

CommentaryIn Cleveland on July 6, President Joe Biden repeated something he has often said before—or, rather, he attempted to repeat it before, as seems to happen with increasing frequency, his train of thought was shunted off onto a siding. “And so, folks, the third reason I ran was to unify the country—to unify it,” he said, according to the White House transcript of his remarks. “That’s been the harder part of it right now. No, I’m serious. Because we’ve become so divided—so divided in this. But one thing we were divided on when we ran—and, you know, I want to thank Mayor Bibb for the passport into the city. (Applause.) But we—we were divided on the question we’re celebrating today. And, folks, how about actually having a union guy as Secretary of Labor? Isn’t that something? (Applause.)” Was there an unexpected synaptic leap in his tired old brain from “unify” to “union guy”? Or was there, perhaps, just a moment of dawning realization that, if it were actually true that he had wished to unify the country, his whole presidency would have been other than it has been? He wouldn’t, for a start, have lent his support to Nancy Pelosi’s jihad, most recently pursued through the Jan. 6 committee of the House of Representatives, against Donald Trump and his supporters, who constitute half the country he claims to want to unify. Nor would he have allowed the suggestion, repeatedly made by the media and members of his administration, that those supporters could be identified with “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists” constituting the principal threat to the security of the country. Nor would he have countenanced the politicization of the justice department under Attorney General Merrick Garland and of the armed forces under Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley two developments that already bid fair, less than two years into the president’s term of office, to become the real threat to our security. As The Epoch Times first reported, two weeks ago, there are now signs of discontent at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Some of the cadets there, sponsored by senior officers—including Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely of the Army, Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney of the Air Force, and Col. Andrew O’Meara Jr. of the Army—have petitioned the Academy’s superintendent with their concerns about (among other things) the teaching there of racially divisive critical race theory, the Biden vaccine mandate, and “political activism” on the part of civilian faculty members. Gen. Vallely told The Epoch Times that similar grievances are surfacing at the Naval and Air Force academies, which suggest that such political impositions originate at the highest levels of civilian authority in Washington. This would also be consistent with the testimony to Congress of Gen. Milley, as I noted in this space last summer, when he justified the teaching of critical race theory and his own appreciative study of “the works of Marx, Lenin, and Mao Zedong” by saying: “I want to understand ‘white rage’ … I’m white and I want to understand it. So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?” Here he was obviously just repeating a Democratic Party talking point that attributed the riot by Trump supporters in the Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021, to “white supremacists.” There was not a shred of evidence for such an outrageous assertion, but the president and his fellow Democrats saw an opportunity to exploit popular disgust with the actions of the rioters in order to characterize them as a threat not only to the country but to “democracy” itself. Gen. Milley was obviously falling into line with his civilian masters, with whom he also sought to ingratiate himself by telling of his own insubordination in going behind the back of Trump to reassure the Communist Chinese that he would not obey any order to attack them. But senior officers who stood by the armed forces’ long tradition of staying outside politics and the rank-and-file whose willingness to serve their country had never owed anything to the sort of ideologies that Milley professed to find so enlightening can’t but have known how they’ve been betrayed by the politicized brass. Few can have joined up with the idea of becoming not the force protecting their country from foreign enemies but the enforcement arm of one political party against the other. Small wonder, then, that the day after The Epoch Times—but virtually no one in the mainstream media—reported on the West Point letter, NBC News reported that “every branch of the military is struggling to make its 2022 recruiting goals.” NBC noted that “the pool of those eligible to join the military continues to shrink, with more young men and women than ever disqualified for obesity, drug use or criminal records”—but also “that only 9% of those young Americans eligible to serve in the military had any inclination to do so, the

How Not to Unify the Country

Commentary

In Cleveland on July 6, President Joe Biden repeated something he has often said before—or, rather, he attempted to repeat it before, as seems to happen with increasing frequency, his train of thought was shunted off onto a siding.

“And so, folks, the third reason I ran was to unify the country—to unify it,” he said, according to the White House transcript of his remarks.

“That’s been the harder part of it right now. No, I’m serious. Because we’ve become so divided—so divided in this. But one thing we were divided on when we ran—and, you know, I want to thank Mayor Bibb for the passport into the city. (Applause.) But we—we were divided on the question we’re celebrating today. And, folks, how about actually having a union guy as Secretary of Labor? Isn’t that something? (Applause.)”

Was there an unexpected synaptic leap in his tired old brain from “unify” to “union guy”? Or was there, perhaps, just a moment of dawning realization that, if it were actually true that he had wished to unify the country, his whole presidency would have been other than it has been?

He wouldn’t, for a start, have lent his support to Nancy Pelosi’s jihad, most recently pursued through the Jan. 6 committee of the House of Representatives, against Donald Trump and his supporters, who constitute half the country he claims to want to unify.

Nor would he have allowed the suggestion, repeatedly made by the media and members of his administration, that those supporters could be identified with “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists” constituting the principal threat to the security of the country.

Nor would he have countenanced the politicization of the justice department under Attorney General Merrick Garland and of the armed forces under Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley two developments that already bid fair, less than two years into the president’s term of office, to become the real threat to our security.

As The Epoch Times first reported, two weeks ago, there are now signs of discontent at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Some of the cadets there, sponsored by senior officers—including Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely of the Army, Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney of the Air Force, and Col. Andrew O’Meara Jr. of the Army—have petitioned the Academy’s superintendent with their concerns about (among other things) the teaching there of racially divisive critical race theory, the Biden vaccine mandate, and “political activism” on the part of civilian faculty members.

Gen. Vallely told The Epoch Times that similar grievances are surfacing at the Naval and Air Force academies, which suggest that such political impositions originate at the highest levels of civilian authority in Washington.

This would also be consistent with the testimony to Congress of Gen. Milley, as I noted in this space last summer, when he justified the teaching of critical race theory and his own appreciative study of “the works of Marx, Lenin, and Mao Zedong” by saying: “I want to understand ‘white rage’ … I’m white and I want to understand it. So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?”

Here he was obviously just repeating a Democratic Party talking point that attributed the riot by Trump supporters in the Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021, to “white supremacists.”

There was not a shred of evidence for such an outrageous assertion, but the president and his fellow Democrats saw an opportunity to exploit popular disgust with the actions of the rioters in order to characterize them as a threat not only to the country but to “democracy” itself.

Gen. Milley was obviously falling into line with his civilian masters, with whom he also sought to ingratiate himself by telling of his own insubordination in going behind the back of Trump to reassure the Communist Chinese that he would not obey any order to attack them.

But senior officers who stood by the armed forces’ long tradition of staying outside politics and the rank-and-file whose willingness to serve their country had never owed anything to the sort of ideologies that Milley professed to find so enlightening can’t but have known how they’ve been betrayed by the politicized brass.

Few can have joined up with the idea of becoming not the force protecting their country from foreign enemies but the enforcement arm of one political party against the other.

Small wonder, then, that the day after The Epoch Times—but virtually no one in the mainstream media—reported on the West Point letter, NBC News reported that “every branch of the military is struggling to make its 2022 recruiting goals.”

NBC noted that “the pool of those eligible to join the military continues to shrink, with more young men and women than ever disqualified for obesity, drug use or criminal records”—but also “that only 9% of those young Americans eligible to serve in the military had any inclination to do so, the lowest number since 2007.”

Can it be only coincidental that the critical race theory praised by Milley and increasingly taught in American high schools as well as the service academies also teaches that the country is shot through with “systemic racism” and unacknowledged “white privilege” and therefore can hardly be considered worth defending?

As the NBC report also notes, “overall confidence in U.S. government institutions is also decreasing, and that has hit the U.S. military as well. In 2021 the annual Reagan National Defense Survey, conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, found that just 45% of Americans had a great deal of trust and confidence in the military, down 25 points since 2018.”

We can well believe that such an elusive national unity is “the harder part” of the president’s job right now, and that the division he has found instead has a knock-on effect on lots of the other difficulties he’s facing. But if so, he has only himself to blame.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The author of “Honor: A History,” he is a movie critic for The American Spectator and the media critic for The New Criterion.