11 May 2015
I AM ASHAMED OF MY PARTY
I have been a Republican since I was 18. I heard Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech and decided that here was a man and a philosophy that meant something more than the evil lies and empty promises of Lyndon Baines Johnson, may he still be enjoying a seat close to the fire. My Mom, a “yellow-dog” Democrat warned me. “Oh, Michael,” she said. “If you vote for that man, you’ll end up in Vietnam.” (Of course, it was 1964, so I could not yet vote. The 26th Amendment was not adopted and ratified until 1971. Still, she was right. I would have voted for Barry Goldwater—and I did end up in Vietnam.)
On 27 October 1964, I saw and heard “The Speech.” From that point on, I was a Goldwater-Reagan Republican. I voted for Richard Nixon both times. He got us out of the quagmire that Lyndon Johnson had gotten us into by pandering to the left wing of his party. He thought he could impose his so-called Great Society on our Nation by fighting a war against communism on the cheap. Only Nixon could get us out by insisting that we do so honorably. Undercut by the Democratic Party and a communist-influenced “peace movement,” it took him four years to do so—and then the Congress, under the overwhelming control of the Democratic Party—reneged on the very conditions the United States had set and promises the United States had made in the Paris Peace Treaty.
As a young Captain in the Spring of 1973, as the Watergate investigation began, my 200 Amphibious warfare School classmates and I—Captains and Majors of Marines—heard an impromptu lecture by our Commanding Officer about the meaning of our commissions. We had sworn to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” We were not bound by some “Fuehrer oath” to blindly obey a particular President. (Calm down. I’m getting there.”) A year later, in late July 1974, there was a message on the morning message board addressed from the Secretary of Defense to all General Officers and all commanding officers of the Armed Forces, reminding us that orders come down a chain of command. If orders were received outside the chain of command, they were to be clarified back up the chain. Sub silentio, we were being cautioned that an order—hypothetically speaking—from the President to the 82d Airborne Division or the Second Marine Division to trot on up I-95 and arrest the Congress should not be taken at face value. As if we needed to be reminded!
For 50 years, man and boy, I have lived by my oath, as have my brother officers. Under Carter—who delayed the attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran until he could extract a written promise from the Joint Chiefs that no Iranians would be hurt or killed in the attempt—and from the retired list, watching the President with the least respect or concern for the Constitution in my lifetime, Barrack Obama, I have been proud to be a Republican.
(Carter finally relented and sent in an under strength rescue attempt, without the promise, when he realized he was losing hope of a second term. Obama represents the worst part of a younger Democratic Party that thinks it is always entitled to get its own way and refuses to let the Constitution—with its messy checks and balances—stop them from changing a constitutional republic into an elitist oligarchy.)
So, I have been proud to be a Republican—until this weekend.
Why now, you may ask?
It is the Governor of Texas. He did it all on his own. He impugned the honor of every officer who has ever taken the oath of office by suggesting that they would simply roll over and play dead if the President attempted a coup d’etat.
Understand, I think that the President, and Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi would entertain such a pipe dream. They are so certain that they, alone, know what is best for the Nation, they could actually say to the People, “We’ll have to enact the bill [before we even read it] to know what it will do.”
You see, the Armed Forces are now beginning an annual exercise, Exercise Jade Helm 15. This year, it is set in the Southwest and will be conducted in parts of 10 States or so. They happen to be dry, dusty and mountainous States—which makes sense if you look at where in the world the greatest threat now faces us. 40 plus years ago, I participated in a couple of major exercises along the southeastern Atlantic Coast, from Virginia down through the Carolinas into Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. The St. Helena Sound of South Carolina is a lovely place of salt marsh, elephant grass, and mosquito swarms in the daytime that necessitated face masks to protect us from drowning on inhaled insects. It was a whole lot like the places we thought we might have to fight in again. That is the whole idea of training!
Now, some wackos from the rabid right—the tin foil and colander hat brigade—have decided that Jade Helm is a plot to institute martial law in the Southwest, to seize lawfully possessed firearms from American citizens, and to lock up those who oppose the President’s unconstitutional immigration decrees. And they have convinced Governor Abbott that only he and the Texas Guard can save our Republic. Pah!
Mind you, I think he and the lunatic left of his Party would love to do it because “They know what is best.” But the looney left has one thing going for it, so far. They still know that any such attempt at a coup would be crushed by their own Secretary of Defense, an honorable man. And they know that such an attempt followed by a quick impeachment, trial for treason, and the resultant expenditure of 40 rounds of ammunition, ensures that it just remains in their personal fantasy lands.
The best defense against such actions is the oath of office taken by commissioned officers. And that is why I am ashamed by my Party. You see, on 28 April 2015, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas ordered the Texas State National Guard to monitor Exercise Jade Helm because a few morons of the ultra far right have taken to the internet to stir up the suspicion that their Fathers and Mothers, Sons and Daughters, Sisters and Brothers who have sworn to support and defend the Constitution can no longer be trusted to do so.
I hereby place my Party on notice: trust the President and the lunatic, Warren-Sanders wing of their Party only as far as you could toss them.
But, for the sake of God and Country, do not let a few idiots coerce you into besmirching the honor of the Officers of our Armed Forces. If you do, then a pox on both your houses!