Op-ed by Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX13) – After twenty-five years of active-duty service to my country and retiring as a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy, I know what it means to selflessly serve my country. I served multiple Presidents in the White House Medical Unit, including Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump. It was not important to me whether the President I was serving was Republican or Democrat, I was going to do my job to the best of my ability.
During my time in the military, I served alongside a diverse group of Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines. When I was leading resuscitative medicine efforts for a combat Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon on the battlefield in Iraq, I did not care about the person’s gender, sexual orientation, political views, or race while I fought to save their life.
There were millions before me and there will be millions after me who serve this country honorably, all to protect one thing — the sacred freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. Unfortunately, we live in a time where everything is being politicized, including what is supposed to be the nonpartisan Department of Defense (DoD). I am frustrated and deeply disappointed that the organization my family and I dedicated our lives to is falling victim to the woke left’s agenda.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), I want to focus on substantive issues like the threats we face from adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran. These countries are working overtime to undermine American interests, yet President Biden is more focused on injecting his radical agenda into the DoD.
In Biden’s discretionary budget request to Congress he asked us to cut topline defense spending even though that goes against the National Defense Strategy, a strategic, guiding document created by the DoD. I was also stunned to see how he ranked his priorities in the discretionary request. He specifically ranked social initiatives and nonsense like the Green New Deal ahead of countering biological threats, modernizing our military, and taking care of military families. This will force the DoD to make difficult decisions to cut key programs that could protect our country, all in the name of promoting Biden’s radical, socialist agenda.
Democrats are using the military as a laboratory for their woke experiments. For example, in our HASC subcommittees we continue to work on made up issues like extremism and white supremacy in the military instead of addressing real threats. I vehemently disagree with the direction the DoD is heading in, but that will not stop me from working each day on behalf of the bravest among us — American service members and veterans.
During my short time in Congress, I have introduced or co-introduced five military and veterans-related bills that were crafted with supporting America’s military families and combatting threats from our adversaries in mind. For example, I introduced the bipartisan Elaine M. Checketts Military Families Act and co-introduced the Veteran Employment Recovery Act with Members from both political parties. The former will ensure our service members are supported in times of tragedy by allowing them to keep pre-approved family leave in the event of a child’s death. The latter will help veterans get back to work following the COVID-19 crisis.
I am proud to work in a bipartisan fashion to get things done for the American people, but I will never abandon the concerns of my constituents or our conservative values. Radical policies and cancel culture are the hallmark of today’s Democrat Party, but I will not stand for it.
I, and many constituents of TX-13, have had enough of cancel culture and its intent to destroy anyone who does not agree with Democrats’ radical, woke agenda. Last year we saw people get canceled for not bowing down to the woke mob, but that was not enough for Democrats. Now they are coming after service members for things that happened over 130 years ago.
That is why I recently introduced the Stop Cancel Culture from Degrading Honor Act to make Medals of Honor and other military decorations permanent after ten years have passed. Service members who bravely fought and died for our country should be off the table and radical Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and AOC should not be allowed to rewrite history, regardless of the circumstances.
I came to Congress to continue a career of service to my country and to stand up for the values that were instilled in me growing up in West Texas. I know I am not the only one who is sick and tired of seeing who or what will be canceled next. This Memorial Day we honor the many heroes who gave their lives in service to our country. These heroes helped establish the most dominant military force on the planet and we owe it to them to maintain that. If we do not fight back on the politicization of the DoD and cancel culture in the military, there is no telling what is next.