To the Editor:
There is a direct link to militarism and the viability of democracy. The congressional budget has allocated $48 billion to a bloated military, while simultaneously cutting taxes for corporations and elites. The result will be burgeoning deficits. These deficits will be the Republican rationale for cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and for reduced spending for the EPA, for education and other agencies that directly benefit most Americans.
Why is it that monies that provide life-giving help to the majority of the American people are allocated to the military and the wealthy? And make no mistake, the money that goes to the military does not go to the rank-and-file soldiers or their families. Instead it goes to further line the pockets of the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against. This is not just an economic question; it is a moral question. The U.S. sells millions to anti-democratic regimes throughout the planet that govern by coercion, violence and fear. Among the most well-known are Duterte of the Philippines, Sisi of Egypt and the Saudi Arabian monarchy. The U.S.’s preferences for dictatorships is often based on whether or not they offer a safe haven for American investments. If this entails oppressing their own people, so be it.
While in the United States, the regime in power is eroding our democratic principles and institutions by similar methods. Coercion, fear and violence are created by diversionary policies that pit one group against the other. White supremacy, racism and militarism have been embraced by the Republican elite and their message denigrates other sectors of the American population.
Can democracy survive this onslaught? Can the American people rally and demand their government respond and develop policies that benefit all Americans and not just the wealthy few?