Conservative lays out the 'authoritarian' motivations behind MAGA claims of a 'woke military'
From Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to former President Donald Trump, MAGA Republicans have been claiming that Democrats are undermining the U.S. military by trying to make it as “woke” as possible. Cruz, in a May 19, 2021 tweet, praised the Russian military for not being “woke” and “emasculated” — a tweet that received a scathing response from Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.
But the MAGA narrative claim that Democrats and so-called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) are harming the U.S. military by making it “woke” persists. And Never Trump conservative Max Boot, in a September 26 opinion column for the Washington Post, argues that some disturbing motivations are behind this MAGA narrative.
“Donald Trump Jr., for example, claims a ‘militant female’ can become an admiral or general in today’s military ‘for no other reason other than they’re probably female,’ or “if you can say: Hey, I’m trans,’” Boot explains. “Tucker Carlson asserts: ‘It has been one calculated humiliation after another for the U.S. armed forces: vax mandates, anti-White ideology, sex changes, drag shows. Whatever is necessary to telegraph to the United States military you are worthless.’”
Boot continues, “Needless to say, these fanciful descriptions from bomb-throwers who never served in uniform bear no relation to reality. The U.S. military remains one of the most conservative institutions in America, with traditions dating back centuries. That the military now welcomes African-Americans, women and LGBTQ people — all groups that were kept out in the past — only strengthens an institution that needs to draw on the talents of the whole country to defend it. So, why are cartoonish inhabitants of the Fox News Cinematic Universe caterwauling about a ‘woke military?’”
The conservative columnist answers his question by arguing that the “MAGA brigades want to populate the military with far-right officers who will do whatever Trump or a Trump mini-me commands, no matter how illegal.”
Boot notes that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “became anathema to Trump & Co. not by embracing ‘critical race theory,’ but by making clear that the military would place loyalty to the Constitution above loyalty to Trump.”
“All of these attacks against the military for being too ‘woke’ should be seen as part of the MAGA strategy to harness the armed forces — ‘the guys with the guns,’ as Milley put it — to advance their authoritarian agenda,” Boot warns. “Blake Masters, the ultra-MAGA Republican Senate nominee in Arizona, has even advocated firing all the generals — ‘they’re left-wing politicians’ — and replacing them with ‘the most conservative colonels.’ Unfortunately, there would be little to stop a President Trump or a President Ron DeSantis from doing precisely that as long as the Senate confirms their new generals. A MAGA president could even summon back to active duty loony retired generals such as (Gen. Michael) Flynn or Don Bolduc, the GOP Senate nominee in New Hampshire, and appoint them to senior commands as long as the Senate consents…. The growing chorus of MAGA complaints about the ‘woke military,’ nonsensical as they are, indicate that the challenges will only grow. A homegrown extremist movement that has already captured control of one of the two major political parties is now trying to bend the armed forces to its supreme leader’s malign will.”
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