The Military Must Take A Stand Against Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts

Prioritizing defense spending over social uplift marks a step toward "spiritual death" in America.
03/16/2017 09:18 pm ET Updated Mar 21, 2017
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

The military is the most respected organization in America. But its silence at a time of draconian budget cuts is immoral. While the military would see an increase of $54 billion if Trump’s boneheaded budget gets passed, these cuts would leave the country it defends in shambles. It is incumbent on military leaders to publicly argue against these cuts and to decline the increase in military spending if Trump does not find a way to fund his many targeted programs.

The most important program Trump wants to cut––entirely––is the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency, the crown jewel of alternative energy research. It’s no wonder why Trump wants to cut this agency. It is responsible for innovating new ways to use energy more efficiently and is our prime resource for combatting runaway climate change. Trump has allied with oil tycoons from Saudi Arabia to Oklahoma. That he would stunt scientific research is to be expected when his bedfellows are some of the dirtiest and most corrupt humans on Earth.

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “A nation that continues, year after year, to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Trump wants to cut Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to the elderly and invalids. The Republicans claim this is the moral thing to do. What universe are they living in? Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently claimed that America no longer respects traditional moral values. What kind of country considers buying more weapons moral but delivering food to the hungry immoral?

The military must speak out against these budget cuts. If it chooses the path of least resistance, there are other ways to resist. Those with military secrets could use their leverage to force the Department of Defense to have a serious talk with Trump. Let’s be honest: with a nuclear and belligerent North Korea, our military members have a lot on their hands. But they don’t need another $54 billion while poor grandmothers go starving.

Now is the time for those with influence in the military to seriously counsel Trump on military needs. Unless we’re going to war, we don’t need a 350-ship Navy. If high-ranking military members refuse to appeal to reason, as I said, I will be among those with insider information pushing for change. And I won’t back down.

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