The American Flag | Wiki­media Commons

Three weeks ago, a two-star general tried to cancel me on Twitter. It went badly — for him. 

America’s mil­itary estab­lishment has long enjoyed immunity from serious public crit­icism. Amer­icans lost tril­lions of dollars and thou­sands of lives in the sink­holes of Afghanistan and Iraq while their gen­erals made off like bandits securing book deals, fel­low­ships, and cor­porate board positions.

Vox reports that when Gen. James Mattis appeared in 2017 before Con­gress for his con­fir­mation hearing for sec­retary of defense, not one senator asked about his role on the board of Theranos, a blood-testing company that defrauded investors and the American gov­ernment. Mattis shilled for the company in uniform, col­lected six-figure checks on its board in retirement, then faced zero reper­cus­sions when it collapsed. 

The times, however, are changing.

On July 22, I posed a question to Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe, the Com­manding General of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excel­lence at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Replying to his tweet sup­porting mandatory vac­ci­nation of service members, I noted that in the fourth quarter of 2020, the surge in sui­cides by service members over the pre­vious year equaled the total number of COVID-19 deaths over 18 months. I asked the general if he thought the military’s dra­conian lockdown policies were rational. 

He responded by berating me and tagging Hillsdale College, telling the school to “come get your boy.” When ques­tioned on how many wars he’d won, he dis­missed the question as the work of a “Putin bot.”

Fox News picked up the exchange and I went on Laura Ingraham’s show two nights in a row to discuss the ker­fuffle and the spread of cancel culture in the mil­itary. Just a few weeks later, former Pres­ident Donald Trump at a rally in Alabama called out the “woke” gen­erals at the Pen­tagon, referring to them as “losers.” 

Donahoe’s response to the firestorm was to block me. Then, after I pointed out in a piece at the American Mind that it was legally fraught for him to do so in light of the Knight Institute v. Trump ruling, he unblocked me and made his entire Twitter account private instead. It remains shut down. I chal­lenged the general to a debate on the merits of COVID-19 policy and mil­itary strategy in the Middle East in my appearance on Fox — I have yet to hear back. 

The Twitter spat revealed, for thou­sands of Amer­icans, the true char­acter of our mil­itary estab­lishment. Watching flag officers spew MSNBC talking points and try to “own” American cit­izens on social media for crit­i­cizing them was a shock.

Our gen­erals aren’t losers because they’ve gone woke. They went woke because they can’t win. Unable to beat mountain men with AK-47s, the military’s lead­ership class needed a new jus­ti­fi­cation to keep the money spigot flowing. Lib­er­alism and glob­alism, or wok­eness, provide the jus­ti­fi­cation for the elite’s con­tinued power and promi­nence. The 900-plus gen­erals and admirals in our armed forces will never hold them­selves accountable for these failures. But ordinary cit­izens, on social media and in real life, absolutely can.  

An edu­cation in the liberal arts com­bined with a martial spirit is a pow­erful weapon against a corrupt and degen­erate regime. The spir­itual war for the soul of the West is on and Hillsdale stu­dents belong in the front line. General Donahoe and the rest of the woke Left can “come and get” us themselves.