Serve Which Master?
John Kirby, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, told reporters at the White House's press briefing today that the Defense Department's provision of abortion for servicemembers “can have an extremely, extremely significant impact on our recruiting and our retention.”
“Not to mention,” he continued, “it's just the right, darned thing to do for people that raise their hand and agree to serve in the military.”
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This appeal came at the end of a three-minute-long lament for the morale that has depleted because of short-sighted Republicans neglecting soldiers who “need” abortion “to serve.”
Serve whom? Those spokesmen who signal the position of military leadership to the public, such as John Kirby, have communicated nothing but contempt for the historical base of America's fighting force for the past few years. Men who were raised by generations of combat veterans, who would have previously thought of military service as a matter of course after high school or college, now come across recruiting videos that claim “gender doesn't matter,” executive orders that proclaim the military must be a “model for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility,” and John Kirby talking about the right, darned thing to do.
Those men used to see military service as the right thing to do. But now they only see a corrupted man in a suit and tie talking about reproductive rights and think, “There must be something else worth dying for.”