We need to have a serious talk about the election. There’s been plenty of hand-wringing and speculation over cabinet picks and so forth but frankly, that is irrelevant compared to the conversation we need to be having. If you are interested in going into the field of national security, as most taking this class are, then you possess a certain set of priors. The most important of these are the beliefs that this country is worth dying for and worth killing for. Any career in the defense or intelligence sectors is a link in a chain of decisions and actions which ultimately lead some people to live and others to die. Therefore, it is paramount to believe that America’s institutions are strong, and that our elected officials are well-intentioned and loyal to the nation.
I’ve heard it said by many very intelligent people –students and professors alike- that President-Elect Trump is an existential threat to the republic. If what they say is true, that he is an aspiring despot, a foreign puppet installed by Russian manipulation, a racist, misogynistic, fascistic sociopath with nothing but contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law, then what the hell are we doing? By our own set of priors, we should be resisting by literally any means necessary, not bitching on Twitter before filling out our government job apps and continuing to live life like normal. If the President-Elect is an aspiring dictator installed by the Russians, then we should be rioting in the streets and stocking up on ammo, not smugly forwarding John Oliver videos. We should be ready to die defending our nation and way of life.
If you don’t believe that is necessary, if you think that it’s morally acceptable to just go on with your daily life at the moment, go right ahead, that’s what I’m doing as well, but then stop freaking out. By all means, criticize the President-Elect when he does things you don’t agree with; that’s your constitutional right as a citizen, and God knows he’s going to give everyone plenty of material to work with. But please, tone down the apocalyptic scaremongering, because one of these days, a real honest man –probably a minority veteran like Chris Dorner or Micah Johnson- is going to take all these doomsayers at face value and do something drastic. When that happens, I for one don’t want to have played any part in fueling it.