I, like most everyone, watched General John Kelly’s riveting and emotionally charged appearance at the White House podium a few days ago. Speaking for myself, I found it to be an emotional plea to hold things sacred, especially as it relates to the heroes that give their life for this country. The dialogue this past week has been terrible, and our civility has been degraded to such a degree that I can barely comprehend it. And yet, somehow it continues to get worse. Just when you think that it can’t possibly get any worse, that we can’t become even more divided, we get this type of thing:
I would recommend reading this New Yorker article, as toxic as it is, just so you can understand the level of vitriol that’s held for this administration. The writer actually compared General Kelly’s speech to the Soviet Union under a Communist regime which is borderline insanity. She then proceeds to actually make the argument that dead American soldiers aren’t the best of us, they are just ordinary Americans, and we totally shouldn’t rank Americans based on whether or not they died for the country. The author, Masha Gessen, actually lived in Russia for 20 years, and is a journalist and far better educated on a myriad of topics than I. So who am I to attack her perspective? I’m just a miscellaneous guy who hasn’t done a fraction of what she’s done, nor am I a fraction of the writer. Well guess what, if she can attack a 4 Star Marine General, who also lost a son for this country, then I can go in on her. This isn’t her first go at the Trump administration. Back in July, she wrote a massive essay on comparing Trump to Hitler called The Reichstag Fire Next Time, which is just an advanced version of your average “Trump is Hitler” tweet. The entire premise of the article suggests that President Trump is going to false flag a terrorist attack to consolidate power, as it’s suspected the Nazis did in the Reichstag fire. At the very least if not false flagging a terrorist attack, then using one to increase his power.
Over the course of multiple articles she tries to tie Trump to Putin, Trump to Hitler, or Trump to any number of autocrats. The only tie I see is Gessen to Trump Derangement Syndrome. The entire basis of all of these attacks on the Trump administration is that he said Putin was a smart guy once. She, as a gay person who lived in Russia, rightfully hates Putin. To draw the connecting line between Putin and Trump because he said something fairly nice about him once requires some serious mental gymnastics, and a lot of confirmation bias. Gessen is a prime example of how no one is immune to confirmation bias, no matter how “smart” they are. The thing people never understood about Trump not criticizing Putin, was that Trump was trying to set the table for future deals by not trash talking a world leader on TV. I always found it hilarious how Obama or Clinton would go on TV and trash talk world leaders then expect them to deal in good faith on something. That’s not how it works. If I am coming to your place of business to make a deal with you, and you see me on TV trashing you before, how likely are you going to be to make a deal with me?
Now back to John Kelly and the “military coup”. In the wake of his speech, which was clearly from the heart and trying to restore some civility, we got gems like this:
And this winner from when he became Chief of Staff:
John Kelly was right. Nothing is sacred anymore. The left is in full warfare mode, with no quarter given. You served the country and even lost a son? Well you’re still a fascist collaborator. Despite the fact that not one “fascistic” policy has been enacted, it doesn’t matter. General John Kelly is pretty close to being of unimpeachable character, and yet he’s attacked as though he’s robbing a bank. This is a man who is literally doing a job he doesn’t even need, and could easily have retired at any point. After losing his son, it would have been easy for him to retreat into solitude, and become disaffected and separated from the world. Instead, he doubled down. He threw himself into his DHS job, and took on what might be the most difficult job ever, Chief of Staff for Donald Trump. Instead of retreating and falling prey to despair, he leveled up, not only for himself, but for the country. For his heroic and inspirational actions, he is now the recipient of the vitriol usually reserved for one man: his boss.
Now, this modern day American icon has the privilege of being called a fascist and collaborator by people who haven’t given a fraction of what he has to this country. Unlike what Gessen says, there are different rankings for American citizens. John Kelly and the soldiers who gave their lives for us have done and given more to this country than me, and likely most people reading this. We have equality in this country, which means no one should be better or get any special treatment, but we are only able to have equality because of those who came before. Whether it be John Kelly and other military heroes, or Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights icons, there are those that merit special treatment, because they earned it. They built this country into what we have today, and this attempt to minimize their exceptional individuality is exactly the tactic the left loves.
Think of this: how often do you see the left lionize individuals? It’s really not often. They sort of do it with Barack Obama, but that’s about it. It’s not often that the left holds up an individual as an example. Even Martin Luther King Jr. is derided by some on the left as having been too soft. In my God of the Left article, I stated that in the absence of God, their god becomes altruism and the earth. The same applies to individual heroes. The common good is all that matters, and lionizing individuals undermines their “everyone is the same” mantra. They don’t want to acknowledge that some people are better than others, or that some gave more than others. Equality of outcome while being considered a good person is all that matters.
So to the left who have been undermining John Kelly all week I say this:
General John Kelly is better than you. The service members that died for our country are better than you. The civil rights icons are better than you.
And everyone knows it.
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.