A Memorial Day for the Republic

For some people, Memorial Day is a day to remember the fallen; for federal government employees it’s a long weekend; for others still, it’s a day of picnics, hotdogs, and hanging around the pool or park enjoying the coming summer. 

For those who lost family, friends, and comrades in our foreign wars, however, it is a painful day of remembrance. 

Every year on Memorial Day, I make it a point to think about each friend and comrade lost, to try and recall their faces during better, happier times, and I say a prayer for those they left behind. In the process of this remembering, I am also forced to recall the moment I heard of their death, or the moment I found them dead, or the moment they died in front of me. It’s a thing I can’t control, no matter how much I want to remember something else about them, it just happens—that moment always comes barging in. They are bad memories, but they are the truth, and we can’t move on if we don’t acknowledge and learn to live with the truth.

When I talk about members of the military who I served with, I purposely use the term warrior. Despite the social deconstruction du jour, the purpose of the military is to conduct war. Clausewitz famously stated, “war is the continuation of politics by other means,” and that other means is fighting and killing the enemy. If you think sending your military to war to do anything other than kill your enemy is acceptable, realistic, or moral, you are a dangerous fool who has no understanding or regard for the myriad disturbing consequences of half-assed armed conflict. So nouveau U.S. Army commercials and Navy wokeism comedy aside, the purpose of the military is to kill the enemy, and the people who do that killing are warriors.

It has been said—and I don’t know the true origin of this statement—that when warriors are in battle, they don’t fight for causes, or flags, or abstract political ideologies. They fight for each other, for their teammates, for the warrior standing next to them. That is absolutely true, at least it was for me. 

But when they volunteer to serve as a warrior, they do it for their way of life. I would say country, but that is not always the case. In America, yes, it is often God-Country-Family, but that is essentially our way of life. I make this distinction because I have led and fought beside foreign military and irregular forces. Not all of those foreign military and irregular forces cared about their country, as a matter of fact very few did. Most of them fought to protect family, tribe, and community . . . in other words, their way of life. 

This experience introduced me to a perspective that I think many Americans lack when they consider a warrior’s motivations for service and sacrifice. It is easy to dress up like a warrior, wave the flag around, and say you’re doing it for your country, but I didn’t see anyone out there actually shooting and getting shot at who was thinking about the abstract ideals of national identity.

Like many in flyover country, I come from a family with a tradition of military service, some of us were the proverbial lifers and others single-hitch patriots, so the concept of service and sacrifice is ingrained into our psyche. For our family, having to give your life in service to your country was always a possibility. Within that context, Memorial Day, for me, has been not just a remembrance but an acknowledgement of the outcome associated with that risk . . . that is until this year. 

When I look at America, the way it is today, I wonder if any of the killing and dying was worth it. America today is run by someone, we’re not really sure who, and every part of its culture and history is being deconstructed. 

The Constitution is not even a speed bump to a new class of oligarchs and tyrants who are in the process of “reimagining” America as a giant Eveready battery to power their globalist business interests. Clearly half the country no longer believes in ideals like individual liberty, freedom, free speech, live-and-let-live, the Golden Rule, or tolerance. 

What happened? If I could go back in time and talk to my dead friends and comrades who fell in service to America, what would they say? Would they still have volunteered? Would they still have put their lives on the line for this? Because this is pretty much nothing like the way of life I know they signed up to defend. This is an abomination. This is something I expect they would fight against.

Zombie America

To paraphrase my colleague Angelo Codevilla, what’s happening now in America is not a perversion or aberration, it’s an assertion of power. What we are seeing is the transformation of America from a free and sovereign nation accountable to the citizens, to a vassal state coalition of oligarchs and rogue national security bureaucrats sympathetic to, if not outright supportive of, China’s global hegemony. Who is really on top in this relationship has yet to be determined. Is it the bureaucrats in service to the oligarchs, or is it the oligarchs backing a rogue bureaucracy? Either way, in the words of the late, great George Carlin, “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.”

In 2020, the Trump Justice Department, with the complete support of then-Attorney General William Barr, lobbied Congress for a law that authorized the federal government to use indefinite detention without trial against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. The lobbying effort failed, and got very little attention in the media, mostly because of the psychodrama of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 election. But consider this: Senior Justice Department officials and some members of Congress believed federal authorities should be empowered to deny habeas corpus at will and to employ indefinite detention without trial against U.S. citizens.

In 2017, the FBI framed a respected three-star U.S. Army general and National Security Advisor to the president, and lied about it. An unhinged CIA director, who once proudly cast his presidential ballot for a bona fide Communist, illegally spied on senators conducting legitimate oversight of the CIA, and lied under oath on national television on multiple occasions. The entire national security apparatus, along with the national legacy media, attempted a coup against a sitting president through a series of actions that included illegal spying, perjury, illegal leaks of classified information, and collaboration with a foreign government’s intelligence service.

All of this and more happened without a single individual being held accountable, prosecuted, or sent to prison. This is truly frightening and raises the question of who is staffing and running our national security apparatus? In fact, who is running our country? Has America become a zombie nation? One without principles, morals, a guiding philosophy, or cultural identity? Present-day America seems to be mindlessly destroying everything in its path, whether through horrid foreign policy decisions, antagonistic and divisive domestic policies, or tyrannical governance. Like a Hollywood movie zombie, it is rapidly becoming unrecognizable from its former living self.

Clear and Present Danger

The current regime likes to talk about the domestic extremist danger to “our democracy.” What they really mean is that traditional Americans are a threat to their transformation of America away from a sovereign nation-state to some form of authoritarian oligarchy. 

Too many Americans fail to understand the very real threat to their lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness posed by a regime that holds this belief. Unfortunately, Americans seem to be waiting for a white knight or some divine miracle to roll back the regime’s ongoing transformation of America. The truth is, that old America, the one you grew up in, the one you think of as normal, doesn’t exist anymore. It’s gone, and it isn’t coming back.

Whether the current regime is backed by an oligarchy-supported deep state bureaucracy, or a deep state bureaucracy supported by China-sympathetic oligarchs, the clear and present danger to every traditional American is centered in Washington, D.C. 

We cannot be free if our elected leaders are under the influence of China. And we cannot be free if we must live by the leave of a rogue national security establishment. If Americans want their liberty, they will have to rid themselves of the ruling elite’s swamp—as Donald Trump sadly discovered too late, there is no coexisting with it.

Long Live the Republic

There is still a large part of America that wants to live in a republic and that wants the return of their natural God-given rights enshrined in the Constitution. But there is also a large part of America that no longer believes in the ideals of the republic and are intolerant of anyone who thinks differently. 

One faction must bend the other to their will by force, or separate and each go their own way. We are at the point in this great experiment of liberty and self-governance that was America where we must begin the separation between those two factions. They cannot coexist in peace and it is folly to think one side will be able to impose its will on the other.

On this Memorial Day, I will be thinking of my friends and comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice, and I’m not afraid to say that some of those memories will be difficult. But I know that their beliefs and the way of life that motivated them to serve as warriors still exists. It exists in every defiant American who refuses to bend the knee to the tyrant. It exists in every American who still believes in liberty, freedom, and equal justice under law. It exists in those who yearn for the self-determination of a republic. I think that’s worth fighting for, and I think there are others out there across America who believe the same. 

It is time to stop trying to debate our country back into unity. Instead, it’s time to look forward, to make a place where we can again live free, speak freely, worship freely, and live out our lives in the manner we choose. It is time to acknowledge the truth and learn to live with it, as difficult as that may be, and to move on. It is time to understand, and say out loud, the republic is dead; Long live the republic!

About Max Morton

Max Morton is a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, former CIA paramilitary operations officer, and a veteran of multiple armed conflicts, revolutions, and contingency operations.

Photo: Getty Images

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