• You Decide

    February 10, 2023
    Views: 844

    Words matter. One of the historical words that has always mattered in the political world was ‘Reconciliation’. According to Webster, an act of reconciling occurs when former enemies agree to an amicable truce. But there are a couple of other words in that definition that need to be unpacked. The words “former” and “amicable” and “truce” need some additional clarification. ‘Former’ generally means traditional and is generally regarded as a foreign enemy such as another nation seeking to disrupt our democracy and our American way of life. There are many nations on this planet that do not enjoy our freedoms and our liberties. But those qualities are precious enough that there was a time when we could recruit and mobilize our youth to fight and die to sustain that vision of our forefathers. 

    We’ve been well prepared and well invested to defend against foreign enemies but what if it’s not a foreign invader? Our forefathers warned us about that other enemy, the domestic one. 

    Ronald Reagan warned us; “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where our men and women were free.”

    I am now in the sunset of my years and I am preparing my speech for my children and grandchildren. The domestic enemy has infiltrated our Democracy and it is well on its way to changing the freedoms and our liberties that they should be inheriting from us. 

    So, lets take reconciliation down to a current events level: Biden's State of the Union speech. 

    How do we reconcile the vast expanse from the message delivered by Biden and the world we are in the process of leaving behind?

    We seem to have reconciled our differences with foreign enemies as evidenced by the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the tolerance of Chinese balloons over our sovereign territory, the apparent ignorance of the proliferation of Iranian drone warfare. Depleting our weapon stockpile in the proxy war with Ukraine while simultaneously depleting our strategic petroleum reserve  (critical to any logistics support in the event we have to actually fight) implies our foreign enemies are not a priority. Reconciled? To ensure we can’t recruit, equip and train the next generation of freedom fighters, we are now focused on race-based conflict in our public-school systems and universities. The resultant lowering of standards to meet recruiting goals in our military and police forces is the obvious answer. However, it is creating severe dysfunctionality in both. 

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    Consider the recent Memphis issue. It is a living example of the intersection of the ‘defund the police’, ‘lower standards to make the police look like the community’ and the 'fatherless family’ dynamic that has incentivized the poor black element of our society to have single mother families. The five black cops that will likely now spend the rest of their lives in jail, for a fleeting moment, were the lucky ones. They were able to escape the inner city and get a job on the police force that was forced to lower its standards, nearly eliminate all training regimens, and allow the group to act with the gang mentality they were escaping, but this time, wearing a badge. It is a case study on the black-on-black pandemic that is crippling many of our big cities which is conveniently avoided when the race-baiters can only perpetuate their cottage industry if it can be portrayed as a white on black problem.

    Back to the State of our Union- we should all be very concerned that we have a mutual understanding of that State. It should be measured, somehow, on the health of our Democracy, which has always been the metric that has separated the United States from the rest of the world.

    Let’s list a few concerns by age of our population:

    Public Schools: The source of recruiting for our military and the relative ranking of the product of our schools measured against the school systems of our global competitors. How are we doing? Not well. Consider the corrosive influx of Wokeness and its basis- Critical Race Theory, Transgenderism, revisionist history. Thankfully, the pandemic allowed parents to see what their children were being taught and a vocal rejection began. Division used to be a math term, but it is now a ideology term. 

    Teenage (and adult) years: Open borders have opened a flood of Fentanyl which has created an epidemic affecting multiple generations of our young people, even school children. The complete disregard for the influx of millions of refugees and the impact on our society, especially the border states, is profound. The open cartel operations and the influx of deadly drugs is a scourge on our Democratic principles. 

    Adults: The complete abandonment of energy independence, the ignorance of the reality of our tax system (Tax the rich?), the unbridaled, wasteful spending and the associated misuse of hard earned tax dollars (under very misleading labels) are reality today.  The accompanying inflation effects on the middle and lower segments of our society seem conveniently ignored. Our society has lost its moral compass. Only witness the recent Grammies to see the depravity on prime time. 

    Harkening back to our childhoods, schools issue report cards ….so how do we initiate a report card for our leaders who seem to act like unaware and uninformed children? You decide. 

    How do we fight a domestic cultural war we never wanted and never thought we would fight? How could a strong Democracy allow such a war to start? You decide.

    Once you decide, you have two choices. You can act or you can watch. The first might make a difference, the second will not. You decide. 



    Tom Burbage

    Mr. Burbage is a Naval Academy graduate, former Navy Test pilot and industry leader. He is working with a group of like minded individuals concerned with the ongoing movement to fundamentally change the focus of our military and specifically our Service Academies.
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