A Space Force lieutenant colonel has been removed from his post after claiming on a conservative podcast that Marxist ideologies are overrunning America’s armed forces, CNN and Military.com reported Sunday.
Earlier this week, Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier appeared on The Steve Gruber Show to tout his new book, Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military. As you might suspect from that title, Lohmeier has some strong views about the state of the military these days, which he talked about at length on the podcast:
“Since taking command as a commander about 10 months ago, I saw what I consider fundamentally incompatible and competing narratives of what America was, is, and should be. That wasn’t just prolific in social media, or throughout the country during this past year, but it was spreading throughout the United States military. And I had recognised those narratives as being Marxist in nature.”
He went on to denounce the 1619 project, which chronicles the impacts of slavery on U.S. history, as “anti-American” propaganda.
“It teaches intensive teaching that I heard at my base — that at the time the country ratified the United States Constitution, it codified White supremacy as the law of the land,” Lohmeier continued. “If you want to disagree with that, then you start being labelled all manner of things including racist. Which is a product of race theory which is steeped in Marxism.”
On Sunday, a Defence Department official told CNN that Lohmeier was relieved of command on May 14 due to a “loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead.” The agency’s decision stemmed from his comments “in a recent podcast,” the official said, and it has since opened a Command Directed Investigation into whether these comments “constituted prohibited partisan political activity.” Another DoD official told the outlet the investigation will also review whatever policies allowed his book to be published in the first place. Lohmeier has been temporarily reassigned in the meantime, though his new assignment was not immediately clear.
Fun fact: There is a long, long list of federal regulations outlining exactly what political activities that servicemembers and civil service employees can and can’t do. And these regulations typically overrule a person’s freedom of speech protections under the First Amendment. Essentially, the DoD doesn’t want to be inadvertently associated with any particular candidate or political view by proxy, so its personnel have to be particularly careful when it comes to talking about politics, displaying partisan swag, and wearing their government-issued uniform or using government vehicles in public.
Now, folks, I only know all this because I grew up in a huge Navy area. So I can see how your average person might read a headline about Lohmeier’s fate and start shouting about “free speech!” What’s harder to understand is why politicians are up in arms as if these regulations are anything new. They’re either worryingly ignorant about the very policies they’ve been elected to uphold or they’re being purposefully obtuse to rile up their support base. Or (as I suspect is the case) it’s a little of column A and a little of column B.
Florida representative and alleged sex trafficker Matt Gaetz said on Twitter Sunday that he would be “seeking action on this in the Armed Services Committee.” He didn’t go into further detail about what that action would be exactly, but he did encourage his followers to buy Lohmeier’s new book.
“Lt. Col. Lohmeier is a Patriot telling the truth about the attempted wokeification of our military – and worse,” Gaetz wrote.
His fellow Florida representative, Byron Donalds, tweeted Sunday that Lohmeier is a “hero” and went on to decry the mob of leftists apparently trying to “cancel him.” (I mean, if anyone “cancelled” him in this scenario, it was his superiors, and last I checked that was just called getting fired). Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward also denounced the DoD’s decision and called for “Marxism (ie #Communism)“ in the nation’s military to be rooted out.
All this pearl-clutching outcry is likely only going to continue into the week so strap in folks. Whatever happened to that all-American wisdom about how if you don’t like your job, you should just get another one?
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.