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I have been following the military career of Spencer Rapone, the West Point graduate who wrote “communism will win” on the inside of his cadet cover and wore a Che Guevara t-shirt under his uniform. As I predicted in an earlier post, the Army cashiered him, albeit a year later. He said that he wanted to rise through the ranks and change the Army from within.
Why am I so interested in this guy? Well, some forty plus years ago, that was me.
Hi, my name is Joseph Feather, and I’m a liberal.
I’d always had a fondness for the military and police and came up with the bright idea of joining the US Army and later the police department to change them from the inside. In military school, I enjoyed being a gadfly., which earned me a lot of pushups and a lot of disdain from the guys* who were a lot more serious about their military careers than I was. I also got my first taste of leftist nastiness when I went to my church youth group in uniform and was called a “baby killer.”
I was rabidly anti-gun in high school and enjoyed arguing with the guys who had gun racks in the back windows of their pickup trucks. This continued into college when I saw a debate on television about gun control. The gun control side was being made by Senator Edward Fredo Kennedy, making arguments that even the true believer I was at the time realized were lame and cliched. The conservative on the panel was not only running rings around him logically, he was black! I didn’t get his name, but looking up black conservatives**, I came across the name Thomas Sowell. After reading a few of his books, many of my ideas and opinions were radically transformed.
For a number of reasons, I decided the Army was not for me***. I got a degree in police science and was hired out of college. Still somewhat left-ish, I discovered that the police department was one of the most inclusive organizations in the country. White, black, hispanic, Native American, Vietnamese American, male or female, gay or straight, no one gave a darn as long as you did your job and could be counted on as backup. I also discovered that the various “minority communities” lobbied to have members of their tribes join the Police Department, only to then turn them persona non grata as soon as they became officers. I quickly understood the only thing that needed to be changed from inside was me.
So, who is more liberal, Rapone or me? (Hint: Look up the definition of liberal in your Funk & Wagnalls.) I was open to new ideas, and gradually adopted them as the evidence became overwhelming. I’m still that way. Rapone has maintained his adherence to a failed ideology despite overwhelming evidence of its failure. Oh, well; maybe someday he’ll become a little more open-minded and liberal.
* Mine was the last all-male class at the school.
** Like, how many of those could there be? I saw a picture later and realized the debater was Walter Williams.
*** To the immense benefit of the Army.