By Casey Chalk | 8 November 2019
THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE — As a U.S. Army medic in the early 1970s, my father worked with wounded veterans who were suffering from what we would now call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. At the time, so my dad told me, many of these PTSD victims were heavily medicated, their rational and physical capacities greatly impaired. The result was both depressing and comical. My father recounted to me stories of trying to play basketball with these wounded warriors, passing the ball to vets so drugged up that it would slam into their faces to little effect. On other occasions, the men would sit in a circle to talk about their feelings. Battle-hardened vets would announce, slowly and articulately, with smiles on their faces, “I feel like shit.”
These anecdotes recently came to mind when reading James Hasson’s Stand Down: How Social Justice Warriors are Sabotaging America’s Military. As Hasson’s account make startling clear, progressive activists, especially during the Obama administration, have sought to radically remake the U.S. armed forces, “even over the explicit objections of the most seasoned military leaders.” And as I learned from my father, the United States military has been the object of social experimentation for generations. All the same, as with most progressive projects, data suggests that whenever social engineers are given a long leash, they’ll pull as far as they can. That’s all the more reason to express concern and outrage over Hasson’s reporting.