I'm a Conservative, what am I thinking? I don't feel sorry for corporations & mistrust the military!
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
I cannot believe what I am about to say. I mean, seriously, it is really rattling my cage a little bit! I sweat, bleed, and speak free enterprise and have often despised liberal attempts to attack corporations for their money. I served 20 years in the US Army as an Infantryman and deployed to Iraq three times. To say I love our military would be an understatement. My bias is so far as to say that some of our best citizens have been in the ranks. It has infuriated me through the years how liberals had taken cheap shots at the service for political gain and grossly distorted our efforts, almost hoping (Dare I say ACTUALLY hoping) that we would fail so that they could score some points. Corporations are a vital part of our economy and the military has long kept the wolves at bay from our society. As a conservative it is not natural to want to hate these institutions.
However, there are events going on that make me reconsider my estimation of these institutions. Let us take the corporations first. Liberals have constantly presented the political outrage that paint corporations as evil entities fit only to be taxed to death and bled dry. It was fun to boycott and protest against them and gave great delight to the protesters to watch them buckle. Corporations were only places to conduct social experiments, and of course the corporations had to suck up the cost and the frustration of making it work. Yet, corporations willingly embrace, financially support, and do the bidding of entities that actually hate them!
Ok, so you lack sense and foresight. I mean if you want these people chewing away at you, that is your business. But now you have simply become a political weapon in the hands of those who despise you! Do you even get that? You, corporations, are being used to suppress free speech and silence opposition. You are being used to push ideologies and philosophies that you may not care for or even care about. Do you really want to be forced to be political arbiters when your primary concern should be being a viable business? Perhaps you think you can control the situation and come out looking highly esteemed by the gang using you? Yah, that is what the corporations thought about Hitler. It is what some business leaders thought in dealing with the communists. How did that go? Do not be like those idiots; be like the business leaders who took down Al Capone. Why do you rub up against the crocodile believing it will not bite you? You are not THAT clever.
You groveled and played along. You went out of your way to prove how woke you are. You gave legitimacy to things you should have thought twice about. What is your reward from those whom you sought to placate? Yep, more taxes!
So now I see open talk of raising taxes, and low and behold who is the main target of these taxes? Wait for it…corporations. You can add to that wealthy people, of which CEOs usually are. Let us recap. You groveled and played along. You went out of your way to prove how woke you are. You gave legitimacy to things you should have thought twice about. What is your reward from those whom you sought to placate? Yep, more taxes! In all honesty, there was a time I would have been upset and defended you. Ha Ha, and there it is, I can hardly believe I am thinking this. It is funny, but it is not at the same time! The conservative in me reacts and says, “But don’t hurt the economy, especially at this time, by raising taxes of corporations.” However, I almost would like to see them taxed. How else are they going to learn? If corporations have been flirting around with the people who are the most likely to hurt them, then they kind of brought this on themselves. Just consider it a market correction if you will.
Then there is my beloved military. For twenty years I served in great atmospheres and in horrible ones. Political manipulation and a massive deviation from war fighting concerns have taken their toll on a magnificent force…the best in human history on so many levels! Yet, for all my frustration, I knew that I was not supposed to be politically active. I could vote, and did so, but you are not supposed to be speaking on political matters from your position in the military. We serve the Republic and inherent the idea that the military must not be used as a force to influence the political process. This always ends bad! We believed that for the longest time. Can we say that now?
This is not an inexperienced private that acted out of turn and needed to be reminded. We have leaders such as a Sergeant Major in Space Force and a General in Marine Corps Counter-Intelligence chiming in! I mean, what is a counter-intelligence commander doing attacking political talk show hosts? Perhaps he should not be commanding anything! I recall not long ago seeing two Marine officers in the White House mocking their Commander-in-Chief just before Biden took over. It is blatantly open and apparently our military thinks this is just so cute and acceptable. The current military culture must accept it for it to be so flagrant and common place. And why is this? Well, allow me to finally make a political statement about the military that for twenty years I was silent about. Because we allowed discipline to plummet. We obsessed over recruiting practices that tried to appease the recruit, and not meet the needs of the service. It is all about the one who joins and not the fact that they serve the nation.
We watched as training standards and leadership got worse. There was an obsession over making everyone feel good (something not yet achieved by the way) even if it meant combat efficiency had to take a back seat. We learned to tolerate failure and the only failure came to be in making the wrong person look bad. There was an obsession in flooding the ranks with homosexuals and in making women combat warriors. Despite obvious difficulties this last move causes, actual tests and experience has blatantly been ignored to make this happen.
I know, the conservative in me screams, “What are you doing, we need a strong military!” However, seeing the danger it can be used by the current administration to actually target its enemies, and apparently having enough leaders willing to actually carry it out, why put that into the hands of political opponents?
Due to the fact that liberals have no scruples in using the military for their personal political leverage, and with the sudden fervency to combat insurgency by the federal government while it ignored the blatant insurrections of 2020 and the one going on right now in Portland, Oregon, I am seriously wondering if we should purposely downsize the military. I know, the conservative in me screams, “What are you doing, we need a strong military!” However, seeing the danger it can be used by the current administration to actually target its enemies, and apparently having enough leaders willing to actually carry it out, why put that into the hands of political opponents? Even further, our military as is, is in a weakened state. The only advantage we may have is in technology, which is quickly being challenged by determined enemies. We look impressive fighting bands here and there armed with Kalashnikovs, RPGs and IEDs. But I fully believe that the military we have now will be seriously challenged if it faces an opponent that is not afraid to go toe to toe. Why financially back such a force? I would rather go back to the days of old in raising a force to fight when needed with determined citizens rather than rely on the force of political woke activist we have now.
Yet, the same principle applies to you, oh military, as it does for the corporations. You have been dangerously flirting with those who actually hate you! The liberals always wanted you downsized and are always the ones to interfere with military efficiency. When they come a looking to draw you down, maybe this time with conservatives who want the military to be the actual military again, do not go a crying. Maybe, a market correction in needed here as well. You sought out your political activists instead of warriors. I guess you really do reap what you sow. Again, why do you rub up against the crocodile believing it will not bite you? You are not THAT clever either.
So, in summary, I am amazed that I have been driven to this point. At this very moment, I am open to taxing corporations higher (to make it pay a fool’s tax) and for shrinking the military (to remind it of its duty and prevent it being used to hunt down people like me). I do not feel sorry for corporations anymore and have a suspicion of our military. It would seem that 2020 certainly did turn the world upside down, at least for this conservative!
Philip Sharp is a US Army Infantry Veteran of 20 years with 3 combat deployments, author of "Not in the Wind, Earthquake, or Fire," and host of the podcast “Rage of the Age: Politics, Religion, Economics & History With a Conservative Bend.” You can follow Philip Sharp on Twitter @RageoftheAgeNow.