Many times every day now I receive e-mails from various parts of the Democratic Party asking me to donate money. Their opening request invites me to choose my favorite presidential candidates — and sometimes to identify the issues that I care about the most.
They list many DOMESTIC issues (jobs, gay rights, college debt, etc.), but ALMOST NEVER ASK ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY or the federal budget’s domination by military spending or the U.S.’s perpetual violations of human rights around the world.
This implies that THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS WILLING TO GO ALONG WITH TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY!
A few of these have offered the issue of “National Security,” but I never choose that because checking that space would imply support for more militarism and more nuclear weapons. These surveys NEVER ask about “Peace.” Only a few even mention “Foreign Policy.”
I ALWAYS CHOOSE THE “OTHER” option and type this into the open field: “PEACE! STOP THE WARS! ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS! DE-MILITARIZE OUR FOREIGN POLICY!”
At the largest levels throughout our society, WE MUST:
• DEBUNK the ASSUMPTION that military violence is a legitimate way to solve problems
• UNDERMINE the MILITARISM that pervades U.S. CULTURE AND POLITICAL LIFE
• DE-MILITARIZE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
Notice the assumptions and the militarization of U.S. culture and political life:
• Politicians keep saying the world needs “U.S. leadership.” Why assume this? Why do Americans think our government is entitled to butt in and use violence against other nations? Why not assume that the world needs Venezuelan leadership? Or Nepalese leadership? Or Moroccan leadership? The sense of U.S. “entitlement” and “exceptionalism” are hubris that endangers peace and justice throughout the world.
• When trouble occurs in another country, the U.S. politicians, news media, and public say we must “do something,” but the unspoken assumption is to do something militaristic. Why don’t we hear politicians, media, and the public say the U.S. should practice better listening skills or work collaboratively to find a nonviolent solution that is a “win-win” for everyone, or simply let foreign diplomats handle it without any U.S. meddling?
• Thoughtful people recognize the unconscious assumptions and feelings that come with “white privilege” and “male privilege.” Let’s also recognize the “American privilege” that causes our politicians, news media and public to feel entitled to butt into other nations’ internal affairs, demonize them, and militarily attack them.
• Instead of identifying military violence by its true name, our politicians and media use euphemisms. Politicians and media refer to “the use of force,” but refuse to say, “the use of violence” or “killing people.” When I think of “force,” I think of twisting really hard on a stuck lid of a pickle jar. The military does not use “force.” It uses violence. It kills people. Let’s call things by their true names.
• Many people assume and use glib rhetoric that the U.S. military gave us our freedom and continually protects our rights.
• Why do military recruiters get such easy access to schools while people who challenge their sales pitches are denied?
• Why do so many summertime festivals and public events include military bands and military displays? Why don’t peace groups get equal time?
• Why do school history courses focus so much on wars and battles while ignoring history’s many efforts to solve problems by organizing nonviolent activities?
I invite you to notice how often these subtle aspects of militarism pervade our public spaces, media, political conversations, and culture.
THESE PROBLEMS TRANSCEND POLITICAL PARTIES! These pervasive problems were corrupting our society already for decades before Trump gained power — and they will outlast him forever unless we THOROUGHLY DE-MILITARIZE OUR SOCIETY!
I encourage you to EXPLICITLY EXPOSE, CHALLENGE AND DEBUNK this pervasive militarism.
I invite you to see more at this blog’s categories for “Peace” and “Nonviolence.”