With Veterans Day in mind, I was asked as a retired U.S. military officer for a comment on the 2022 election results, which produced this:
When both political parties pose as pro-military, when both are pro-war, when both are enablers of record-high Pentagon spending, when both act as if a new cold war with China and Russia is inevitable, do election results even matter? No matter which party claims victory, the true victor remains the military-industrial-Congressional complex.
To paraphrase Joe Biden, nothing fundamentally changed in the 2022 elections when it comes to colossal military spending, incessant wars and preparations for the same, and non-stop imperialism around the globe. There is no new vision for lower Pentagon spending, for fewer wars and weapons exports, and for a smaller, less domineering, imperial mission.
As General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in 1961, the military-industrial-Congressional complex represents a disastrous rise of misplaced power that is profoundly anti-democratic. Collectively, we’ve failed to heed Ike’s warning. The result has been one unnecessary and disastrous war after another, even as democracy in America withers. The Vietnam War—disaster. The Iraq War—disaster. The Afghan War—disaster. The War on Terror—disaster. Even the war America ostensibly won, the Cold War against the USSR, is now apparently about to be refought.
I suppose we need to refight the Cold War we “won” thirty years ago so we can lose that one too.
With the Democrats doing somewhat better than expected at the polls, war business should continue to grow in Washington, D.C. Most political commentators seem to think this is a good thing, when they think about it at all. Few seem to recall Ike’s warning that a military establishment of vast proportions is antithetical to democracy.
In this election cycle, I’ve heard nothing about peace. I’ve heard nothing about strengthening and preserving democracy by downsizing our military and imperial presence around the globe. Not from Democrats and Republicans.
So the winner in 2022 is the same winner as always: the military-industrial-Congressional complex. It’s a sad result to contemplate with Veterans Day looming.
Readers here know I supported the U.S. Senate campaign of Matthew Hoh, a USMC combat veteran and former State Department official who resigned in protest against the Obama Surge in Afghanistan in 2009.
He ran with the Green Party against war and the military-industrial complex and earned just over 29,000 votes in North Carolina. He was not a "spoiler." Even if the Democrat had won all these votes and the Libertarian votes as well, she still would have lost to the Republican.
Matt inspired at least 29,000 people; he certainly inspired me. We need more people like him to run or we'll be stuck with the usual suspects forever.
We crawl before we walk before we run. There's a long way to go until we can effect real change in America, but we'll never get there if we stay crawling on our bellies before the so-called elites.
The fact that candidates like Matthew Hoh get only a tiny percentage of the vote speaks to the power and effectiveness of official state propaganda and the dumbing down of American society in general. These marginal candidates will never be able to surmount this obstacle.
America is a truly unique totalitarian state. There is no need for gulags, concentration camps, and other such methods of punishment and forced persuasion. People are happy to obey and watch a corrupt, incompetent, and morally bankrupt ruling elite destroy the country.