Joe Biden has been on an all-of-government cultural crusade since his first day as president. He has caused a great deal of division in our country, but the adverse consequences of his actions have been most pronounced in the military, from promoting the tenets of critical race theory to using taxpayer funds to facilitate abortions. And as usual, Biden is seeking to blame the mess he created on others.

Instead of focusing on building the best fighting force in the world, the Biden administration is promoting officers based on racial and cultural “equity.” It has launched a full-court press to root out alleged “white supremacy” in the military. The administration’s “extremism stand-down day” in 2021 and diversity, equity, and inclusion training requirements reportedly used up nearly 5.9 million man-hours across the service branches. And the Navy issued training materials stating that conservative views of “marriage, abortion, and LGBTQ rights” are “not considered mainstream.” 

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking Republican member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says that by the end of this year, “there will be 30,000 fewer active-duty soldiers than the day President Biden took the oath of office. Public trust in the military is also plummeting. The Reagan Institute found that under 50% of Americans trust the military, down from 70% a few years ago.” 

In trying to shift blame for the mess he has created, Biden is demonizing Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., because he is holding up military nominations and promotions to protest the Defense Department’s policy of paying for abortion-related expenses of service members and their dependents. Longstanding congressional policy strictly limits taxpayer funding of abortions in the military and other federal programs. Biden supported such funding limits for decades as a senator but suddenly flipped on the policy as a candidate for president in 2019.

The House of Representatives has approved a national defense authorization bill that reins in Biden’s radical cultural policies, but his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, claims that the bill will never make it to Biden’s desk. Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Sullivan disingenuously blamed the amendments in the defense bill on “a small group of Republicans” who “created a trap we don’t need to find ourselves in.”

Sullivan went on to denounce Tuberville for placing a hold on the military nominations and promotions, claiming his protest of Biden’s abortion policy “is making America less safe” and that Tuberville’s action is an “attempt to score domestic, political points.”

Never mind that Biden initiated the legally suspect funding for abortion-related expenses and other divisive cultural policies. The commander in chief seems more determined to push his radical cultural agenda in the military than to address the dangerous decline in military readiness and recruitment on his watch.

More than 5,000 veterans have stepped up to support Tuberville’s principled stand and to urge Biden’s Department of Defense to reverse course. In a letter to Senate leaders Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the veterans say Biden’s policy “is not just illegal, it shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense.”

They argue that Biden’s policies have caused “an unprecedented crisis of recruitment” and that the focus of our military “must be on keeping the American people safe, not advancing the left-wing social agenda.”

The veterans go on to say that the mission of the U.S. military “is to defend and protect all American lives—not subsidize the practice of destroying innocent and vulnerable American children via abortion with taxpayer dollars.” They conclude by commending Tuberville for “doing a great service for the American people—including its service members.”

Political correspondent Byron York has pointed out that Senate Democrats held up a much larger number of military promotions in 2020 to protect the status of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who played a key role in bringing a whistleblower complaint against then-President Donald Trump.

It is time for Biden to recognize that his core responsibility as commander in chief is to protect the American people, not impose a radical cultural agenda on those who risk their lives to protect our freedoms.

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation. 

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