I move that from now on, we put politicians who refer to “American democracy” on a flight to nowhere after an especially enthusiastic groping from the TSA.
The offender who most recently prattled about “democracy” while sitting in the Congress of a representative republic is that silly senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand. Worse, she’s a “ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Personnel”; so terrifying a fact ought to convince even Leviathan’s most die-hard fans of the beast’s intellectual bankruptcy.
Kirsten’s knickers are in a twist over The Donald’s selection of Gen. James Mattis for Secretary of Defense (sic for “Secretary of Imperial Aggression”). It seems Mattis resigned from the military in 2013—yet federal law stipulates that “retired service members must wait seven years after serving on active duty before they can hold the office of the secretary of defense or other senior civilian defense positions.” Congress must waive this rule if it wishes to confirm Mattis.Halestorm
That had Kirsten caterwauling—or, more accurately, speaking out of both sides of her mouth, as politicians always do: “While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver. Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”
Kirsten’s ignorance of the central government’s form is but the tip of her absurdity. She’s also picked a hill of quicksand on which to die since the law specifying 7 lean years is hardly set in stone. Congress amended it as recently as 2008; before that, veterans had to log a whole decade of distance from active duty before accepting an office.
Furthermore, the law itself dates only to 1947. And like everything DC spews, it makes no sense. I’ll let “Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers” take a stab at explaining the legislation’s purpose: “…you don’t want a military attitude in the civilian position.”
Hmmm. That would be news to the founding generation: they elected George Washington to the presidency a mere 6 years after he’d relinquished his Revolutionary sword precisely because of his military record.
But I interrupted Silver-Tongued Mike: “When you get to that Defense Secretary role, it has to be a broader, strategic impact brought to any decision you make in any strategic event you make around the world — including, by the way, acquisitions of weapons … I think they just want a little distance there to make sure you don’t just take a general and make them a secretary. And that’s why, originally, the law was passed to give that seven-year window.”
All clear? Just as Kirsten’s Senatorial stint speaks volumes about that rats’ nest, so Mike’s gig on the radio witnesses to the corporate media’s tin ear and desperation. Ergo, let me translate what Silver Tongue and Silly Senator are trying to articulate: the division between soldiers and civilians should be deep and wide lest we wind up in a military dictatorship.
Apparently, neither dimwit has observed that we’re already living in said dictatorship. And have been for decades, regardless of how many ineffectual laws mask Congress’ infatuation with and approval of America’s police-state.Abducting Arnold
Since the 1850s, when “civilian” police forces first tyrannized us, Americans have touchingly but falsely believed that if they call the armed forces killing them “cops” instead of “infantry,” they’ve somehow inoculated themselves against despotism. Perhaps because they know nothing of political philosophy or of history, especially their own, Americans don’t realize that political liberty requires far more than a gap between soldiers and civilians. Living free means we must utterly reject a professional soldiery by whatever name; instead, we ourselves must defend our families and homes when necessary. It also demands that most Americans—not all, mind you, but a proportion sizeable enough to defang the socialists, communists, Progressives and other loonies—cherish a devout commitment to liberty as well as an unyielding hostility to the legalized compulsion, corruption, and cruelty that is the government.
The generation that waged the American Revolution was among the freest ever. Most of them were lifelong members of the militia; they fought only long enough to repel the enemy before returning to their shops and fields. And while some considered the Continental Army a necessary evil, everyone agreed that it would disband when the Revolution ended. A set of roustabouts permanently leeching off taxpayers while sowing mayhem worldwide would not only have horrified our forefathers but provoked them to another rebellion.
For sure, they would advise us to abolish all standing armies, whether we call them “cops” or “the U.S. Armed Forces.” Nor should we allow demagogues to lull us with risible laws that pretend seven or ten years of civilian life somehow purges a warmonger of his devotion to brute force.
Gen. Mattis famously counsels, “Be no better friend, no worse enemy.” Let the first phrase summarize our relationship to liberty and the latter to Leviathan.