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What is the Proper Role of Military Power for a Republic? – Winston Elliott III

todayMay 5, 2012

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Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Winston Elliot III is the father of Winston Elliot IV, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan.  He has, as I believe Obama says, skin in the Afghanistan game.  Winston is asking the question, what is a republic?  Does a republic do certain things?  Here it is “What is the proper role of military power for a Republic?” Someone should actually ask this question of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney.  I think it’s a valid question today.  Since most of you are opposed to the Afghan war continuing, listen to this. Check out the rest in today’s transcript…

 

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  You hear me talking from time to time and I am asked from time to time, “What does Mike read?”  Well, Mike reads a lot of Melvin Bradford, M.E. Bradford.  A couple books that I’ve suggested and are in the library at MikeChurch.com.  The best of Bradford’s books is The Age of Reason.  If you don’t buy any other book from Mel Bradford, buy that one.  You can get it in the library at MikeChurch.com.  Another Bradford book is Original Intentions of the U.S. Constitution.  Another one that I absolutely adore, and I’ve read many passages from it here on the show, it doesn’t always apply but it’s a great book, The Reactionary Imperative.  These are all M.E. Bradford’s books.  Bradford was a history professor at, I think it was the University of Texas.  He was one of the, in the ‘60s, I guess the ‘50s and ‘60s and on into the ‘70s, he was buddies with Russell Kirk, the great conservative writer.  Bradford was one of the brave guys that, when the decepticons, the former liberals, progressives, former members of the Progressive Party that moved over to the Republican column in the late’70s and became what are known as neocons today, when they infiltrated the purported right, Bradford was one of the ones that pointed it out.  He said hang on, what are these guys doing?  Then, of course, they crafted out of whole cloth this American exceptionalism crap that is still served up today as something Washington invented.  He didn’t.  He would have had nothing to do with it, and neither would Jefferson or Madison or any of the [r]epublicans.  Hell, all the way up to Robert E. Lee would have had nothing to do with any of this.

Bradford was one of the ones that sniffed this exceptionalism stuff out and the lie about American history and about the Declaration that had to be fabricated in order to substantiate and give it life and make people believe it.  It’s not true. There’s a great battle that went on in the pages of Modern Age magazine.  It’s between Mel Bradford and a guy named Harry Jaffa.  I think Bradford wins the debate.  You can just Google M.E. Bradford, Jaffa.  You’ll find, I think Bradford wrote two and Jaffa wrote two, lengthy essays about one, Lincoln was wrong, two, Jefferson was right, three, Jefferson never said or meant any of the stuff that Jaffa said he did, and four, I forget what the fourth one is, but it was about republicanism and about that there was no mission of the United States.

That’s why my movie The Road to Independence starts with the line, with the little Jaffaite, the little neocon asking 76-year-old Thomas Jefferson, “Oh, that’s when you set us about on our mission.”  Jefferson just laughs at him.  If you’ve seen the movie and wondered why Mike put that line in there, this is why, to set the damn record straight.  Jefferson just laughs at the kid and says, “It wasn’t a mission.  We seceded.  We declared independence.  That was the mission.” {sidebar id=56}

Anyway, Marshall DeRosa, my friend and a guest on this show from time to time, and author of some really great books.  As a matter of fact, one I have here on my desk, Redeeming American Democracy: Lessons from the Confederate Constitution.  There’s a repost of a piece that DeRosa wrote in 1995.  I posted it in today’s Pile of Prep.  It’s a wonderful breakdown of Bradford’s view of the Constitution and how it was being abused.  Back in the ‘70s, guys like Bradford had already thought that the American experiment was over unless certain things happened.  This is a long and lengthy read.  I just want to recommend it to you.  That’s at the Imaginative Conservative website.

Then there is this other post that is on the same site, on the front page, posted by my buddy Winston Elliott.  Winston Elliot, III is the father of Winston Elliot, IV, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan.  He has, as I believe Obama says, skin in the Afghanistan game.  Winston is asking the question, what is a republic?  Does a republic do certain things?  Here it is “What is the proper role of military power for a Republic?”  There’re some really hard questions and some thought-provoking stuff in this.  It’s only a paragraph long.  What is the proper role of military power for a Republic?  Someone should actually ask this question of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney.  I think it’s a valid question today.  Since most of you are opposed to the Afghan war continuing, listen to this.  Again, Winston is the father of an officer in this man’s army deployed in Afghanistan.  I think he knows a little bit about this.

[reading]

What is the proper role of military power for a Republic?  Is it the role of a Republic to maintain a large military presence in foreign lands?  For what purpose would a Republic expend large amounts of blood and treasure to promote “democracy” in far away nations?  What does this say in relation to countries, such as Cuba, which are much closer to us and living under repressive governments?  Would the framers of our governmental institutions (Washington, Jefferson, Adams) support a long term (10 years in Afghanistan, over 50 in Korea) placement of troops in foreign lands?  Is it the Republic’s duty to spend whatever is necessary (in lives and borrowed money) for as long as it takes to impose order in places where cultural mores and tribal hatred systemically undermine the conditions which are necessary for ordered freedom to flourish?  Is the militarization of our foreign policy a reasonable price to pay for these efforts?  Is it likely that our zeal to “make the world safe for democracy” will call for policies and expenditures which undermine republican principles in our own home?  If we are in a state of fiscal & moral crisis in this nation is it responsible to make such expenditures even if the goals are determined to be legitimate?  Are we truly in a position to tell other nations to get their house in order in light of the state of decay of our Republic?

[end reading]

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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Written by: ClintStroman

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