Don’t Use America’s Veterans as Extremism Fear Porn

When I conjure a vision of extremism, I see Osama bin Laden. Democrats, on the other hand, see an American veteran. 

Recently Democrats on the House Veterans Affairs Committee released a report on “violent extremism within the United States veteran community,” concluding extremism is an “unfortunate reality” among the U.S. veteran population. 

This may seem like nothing more than some boomer Democrats dusting off the old Vietnam playbook of attacking veterans with vile names like “baby killer.” The reality, however, is much more sinister. This report continues an ongoing attack by Democrats on conservatives more generally, which now finds our honorable servicemembers and veterans in its crosshairs.

Joe Biden set the tone early in his reign, directing then-nominee for secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, to lead the extremist witch hunt within our armed forces. During his confirmation hearings in January 2021, Austin vowed to rid the ranks of “extremists and racists.” One of Austin’s first orders upon confirmation was to decree a military-wide stand-down “to address the issues of extremist ideology” in the ranks. By the end of 2021, Austin released his manifesto on combating extremism within our armed forces, which concluded what millions of patriotic Americans already knew to be true. There is no extremist problem in our military. 

The whole “problem” of extremism in our military was contrived for political purposes only; i.e., to target those who do not support Joe Biden’s regime and a woketopian Department of Defense. 

The Austin manifesto found fewer than 100 instances of extremist behavior within the ranks of the armed forces. During testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in April of 2022, Austin testified that 99.9 percent of our military were “doing the right thing every day.” In May of 2022, the Democrat Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, downplayed the existence of extremism in our ranks after hours and hours of testimony from the services failed to mention it. I offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, stating that combating extremism within the ranks of our military should not be a top priority of the Defense Department, given the insignificance of the department’s reporting and testimony. Democrats, who hold the majority, curiously voted it down. 

The Democrats’ witch hunt for political opponents within the ranks of our active duty, reserves, and National Guard kept leading to dead ends. The data did not support their claims. Thus, it seems Democrats aimed to cast a wider net into a deeper pool, searching for political opponents within the ranks of the nearly 18 million veterans in America. This report by Veterans Affairs Committee Democrats besmirches the name of all veterans and casts aspersions on the very best America has to offer. Ironically, it is the Democrats who claim Republicans stereotype, profile, and generalize whole populations based on scanty evidence. They call us racists, bigots, and extremists, all the while launching ill-founded, unsupported, and disgusting attacks on our military and veteran communities.

The American people will not stand for such attacks on its bravest citizens, those men and women who answer the call to defend our freedoms. Republican majorities in Congress must end the political witch hunts for a phantom extremism within our armed forces and veterans’ communities. Meanwhile, we will refocus Congress’ efforts toward real issues like manning, training, and equipping our armed forces to continue to be the most lethal fighting force in the history of the world. We will fight to ensure our brave veterans receive the care and benefits they fought for and earned. Left in the dust will be yet another generation of Democrats who attacked America’s military and veterans to their own peril and had to live with the consequences.

About Matt Gaetz

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz has served as the U.S. representative for Florida's 1st congressional district since 2017.

Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

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