One of the least appreciated parts of the House Armed Services Committee’s debate last week of the federal defense spending bill was how the Pentagon under President Joe Biden is drifting left and going woke.
Republican Rep, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin made this point, noting how the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion branch of the military relies on “bogus” social science studies to support programs that actually exacerbate the workplace hostility and limited minority opportunity that DEI is supposed to fix.
He noted, for example, that the U.S. Navy, in arguing more diverse units perform better, cited a 2015 study that found a corporate board with “one white, one Native American, one Latino, and seven black members could score as less diverse than a board with six white and four black members.” “They’re counterproductive to the aim of promoting diversity, or reducing intergroup hostility,” Gallagher said.
Rep. Matt Gaetz picked up on that theme on Monday in an interview with the Right Side Broadcasting Network. Gaetz, a member of the Armed Services Committee, appeared on the network after the defense spending bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, passed.
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The Fort Walton Beach Republican said his constituents, who reside in an area concentrated with active-duty military personnel and veterans, are concerned about “wokeism.”
Gaetz said that the liberal mindset is forcing Congress to consider issues that very few believed should be thought of as military policy.
In fact, Gaetz said the Pentagon is now trying to force its druthers on its contractors.
“I think we would agree that we want those supporting the warfighter to be chosen based on capability, the ability to kill our adversaries,” said Gaetz.
“Could you image a world in which the company making the smartest drone, or the best body armor, or managing telecommunications security, wasn’t picked primarily on capability – but, on what they did for Pride Month and whether they had a diversity, equity and inclusion plan?” he added.
Gaetz, in a seeming reference to Gallagher’s argument, noted that GOP lawmakers on the committee were arguing that Critical Race Theory and DEI initiatives fail to contribute to building teamwork.
The congressman then trumpeted that two Democrats, including Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Orlando, voted with the GOP reps to erase DEI provisions from the defense bill.
But, Gaetz added, much more work remains to be done. He cited, for example, a recent Navy training video that instructed sailors on proper pronoun usage.
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“The DoD was kind of the last bastion of government power that hadn’t been taken over by the political left,” said Gaetz.
Compared to the EPA or the Education Department, the Defense and Justice departments were likely to be seen as not signing up for the “woketopia agenda,” he added.
Now, that’s not the case.
“I believe when Republicans take power again, it’s not going to be enough to just stem the tide of this nonsense. We’re gonna have to go on offense to de-wokeify the military, and get rid of these training programs, the pedagogy, anything that tells Americans … you should be judged on the color of your skin,” said Gaetz.
“We believe that all Americans are precious and that people ought to be judged by the content of their character, and that color-blindness of Dr. [Martin Luther] King is now what a lot of critical race theorists now critique.”
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