But the employees of some big tech companies don’t care. To them, the Pentagon is a war machine bent on world domination in the form of dastardly Yankee imperialism, and helping them to succeed at their mission is a betrayal of the cause.
The cause, it would appear, is the complete emasculation of the U.S. military. If that sounds insane to you, it’s because you’re . . . sane. And that would set you apart from the employees of Google, who apparently make the decisions there regardless of what the executives say. That’s why Google will be scrapping a previously secured project to help the Pentagon with drone technology.
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Jeff Bezos, no slouch in his own right in the liberalism department, is either a little more level-headed or knows a business opportunity when he sees one. But he announced today that he not only refuses to follow Google’s lead, but actually believes it would be unpatriotic to do so:
In San Francisco this week, CEO Jeff Bezos said employee-activists would not bully Amazon into an anti-Pentagon posture on his watch. Asked about Google’s recent move to scrap a Pentagon project under pressure, he said it “doesn’t make any sense to me,” adding: “If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the U.S. Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble.”Google announced in June it won’t renew a defense contract analyzing drone footage after thousands of employees signed a petition complaining that Google should not be involved in “the business of war.” These high-minded engineers appear less exercised over Google’s moves to re-enter China and open its technology to the Communist Party’s censorship and ethnic repression. They nonetheless cowed their bosses. In a pointed response, Mr. Bezos said, “one of the jobs of the senior leadership team is to make the right decision even when it’s unpopular.”
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Mr. Bezos is no fan of President Trump. He owns the nation’s leading Resistance newspaper and he certainly doesn’t agree with Mr. Trump on immigration. “This country is a gem,” Mr. Bezos said. “There aren’t other countries where everybody is trying to get in. I’d let them in if it were up to me. I like them. I want all of them in.”
But he seems to recognize that such political differences are no reason for America’s leading industry to undermine the country that has made its rise possible and which is facing increasing competition from revisionist powers. “I know everybody is very conflicted about the current politics in this country,” Mr. Bezos said, but it “is a great country, and it does need to be defended.” Well said, though it’s depressing that he would even have to say it.
Well yes, so why did he have to say it? How did we get to the point where anyone fails to understand that your allegiance to the country is a separate matter from your political feelings about the president of the moment?
As much as you want to blame the whole thing on “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” this was not completely nonexistent before Donald Trump. It has roots as far back as Vietnam, when anti-war militants quickly went from burning draft cards to burning flags. It wasn’t just the policy they insisted on hating, it was the whole country.
And this has become standard fare on the left ever since, if only because it’s a great way to get attention for your cause. Why did Colin Kaepernick become a household name back in 2015? It wasn’t for his great performance in football games, because there were no great performances. It was because he used a gripe with the police to justify his refusal to show respect for the entire country.
Many on the left have taken to answering “Make America Great Again” with the assertion that America was never great to begin with, so what’s this “again” business?
Remember Michelle Obama saying that the night her husband was elected as the first time she had ever been proud of her country?
Much of the left seems to hold back loyalty toward the country unless and until they actually have political power. If they lack it, then as far as they’re concerned the entire country is evil.
Now why don’t conservatives do that? I’d suggest it’s because conservatives don’t identify the country primarily as the sum of its political institutions. America is more than that to people who put their focus on freedom and individual initiative. But to the party of government, America is the government, and you can’t pledge your allegiance to it unless you’re running it.
Of course, Obama was president when Kaepernick took a knee, and Lyndon Johnson was president when the peaceniks were burning flags and draft cards. So maybe that just goes to show that even the most partisan Democrats are never left-wing enough for the most radical among us. If you’ll never respect the country until you get everything you want, then you’ll never respect it . . . period.
Most of us don’t think like that.
But that’s the mindset that would even go so far as to oppose the pursuit of effectiveness in the U.S. military. They’re the enemy, after all, if there’s a Republican in the White House and you don’t believe there’s ever a justification to use military force under any circumstances.
I suppose it makes Jeff Bezos a rather remarkable liberal that he actually sees the necessity of arming the U.S. military with the tools they need to do their jobs. And that says a lot more about the state of the modern left than it does about Mr. Bezos, although I suppose we should give him one cheer for still having his mind intact.
Maybe he could use some of it to improve that awful newspaper he owns.