Five former chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and eight previous secretaries of defense put their names on a public letter about “healthy” relationships between the civilian leadership and the military. These former defense people fear another Donald Trump attempt to overthrow the nation’s democracy. The letter reiterates that should any and all politicians ever try to weaponize the military again, they will find themselves blocked hard.
These highly regarded military people were specifically concerned about “America’s set of principles to ensure civilian control and the rule of law in the American political system” Trump’s attitude shocked them, according to MSNBC:
‘[A] polarization that culminated in the first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt.’
The ex-president launched a multi-pronged attack which included a number of cracks at overtaking the military and claiming it as his. Remember when he walked across the street from the White House and held a Bible upside down? Trump had told the top military official to “shoot the antiracist protesters.” When the top military man demurred, the ex-president took his request down a notch and told him to just order the military to “shoot them in the legs.”
At another juncture, the former POTUS was looking at The Insurrection Act as a way to activate the military. It was his idea of a good way to silence the post-election protesters.
Then, there was the time that he was considering ordering the defense secretary to “seize voting machines,” after he lost the 2020 election. Fortunately, that order never went anywhere.
Not only that, during the January 6 attempted coup, Trump wanted the National Guard called up to protect “sympathetic protesters” aka rioters or insurrectionists. Not the legislators.
Political Scientist at Carleton University in Canada Stephen Saideman blogged about returning civility, formality, and mutual respect to the relationship between the military and the White House, as described in War on The Rocks:
‘This list is clearly a condemnation of Trump and his acolytes, which includes many GOP Senators. Other experts in civil-military relations hailed the letter as a solid start in bringing back the tradition between the civilian leadership and the military.’
These top military people still consider Trump a “threat to the democratic project, most tangibly through a third presidential run.” They urged both Americans and the military leaders be “vigilant and mindful.”
MSNBC Opinion Columnist
‘As I noted in my analysis of Biden’s pointed stagecraft, he was showcasing his belief and hope that the military shows allegiance to democracy over any partisan agenda or authoritarian challenge to the political system in the coming years.’
Aleem continued, writing about “being alert to the threat posed by Trumpism:”
‘This letter is the latest attempt by the Washington defense establishment to intellectually and socially organize around the idea that defending the rule of law and democracy requires being alert to the threat posed by Trumpism.’
Although Fox News’ Tucker Carlson criticized the stunning red, white, and blue backdrop for POTUS’ Philadelphia speech about saving our democracy, there was intent on President Joe Biden’s part. Of course, those colors are references to our nation’s flag. But the two Marines standing at attention at the ready were there to show “allegiance to democracy over any partisan agenda or authoritarian challenge to the political system in the coming years.”
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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