Monday, September 25, 2017

The Duty of the King

Below is the substance of a speech I delivered to an assemblage of those who support our War Fighting Community, Families and Gold Star Family members. The event was held at the Hillview Country Club in North Reading Massachusetts on Sunday, the 25th of September 2017....It was also, Gold Star Mother's Day. The substance of the speech is both timeless, and applies to every Mother's Son who claims American Citizenship.

The Speech: 

I struggled to come up with a topic for this speech and largely because I have sought to keep what little time and influence I am afforded on the very narrow subject of American War Fighter Welfare; but not as it pertains to medical care or pay or re-entry into society. Those things are covered by a list of dedicated people. 

For me the greater need is to insure when this nation decides to send American War Fighters into harm’s way, it is done so with a well-defined mission removing every obstacle that might prevent them from returning home victorious and alive.

This Nation has failed to do so since the end of World War II and every one of us who have studied this subject have done little more than increase our sense of frustration as we have watched incursion after incursion saddled with the insane application of Counter Insurgency doctrine (COIN) which gives ground to the enemy while hampering the efforts of the American Fighter.

COIN battlefield logic which has been with us officially since 1940, has been a disaster of epic proportions, costing this Nation trillions of dollars in war materiel and related expenses and costing this Nation in excess of 500,000 dead and wounded while failing to deliver a single definable victory.

So how can this happen: How can something so demonstrably ill-founded with a consistent record of abject failure be as consistently at the forefront of every Administration’s mind and of nearly every sitting politician with the possible exception of one Donald J Trump?

There are easily identified reasons why we have not been able to learn from the mistakes of the past 70 plus years and I want to visit just a few:

First, the American population has become exceedingly lazy. We are self-centered and delusional both about our intrinsic value and our belief everyone owes us something. I am not speaking about our waning sense of Nationalism; no, I am speaking about individuals and our perception of self. In fact, it is this endemic narcissism that has all but destroyed our sense of pride and support of this great experiment we call the United States of America.
Second, we have accepted the perverted notion of a fluid, transitional Constitution. This radical departure from the Founder’s vision is as anathema to Constitutional definition as the suggestion that 2 plus 2 can have any infinite number of correct answers.

What the Living Constitution crowd doesn’t understand is that any move away from the perfect and complete vision of the Founders Constitution is also a move away from the very concept of the pre-existent, inviolable and sacrosanct Rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights; even as they lean heavily upon those Rights to shout down every dissenting opinion.
Third, the majority has lost sight of the fact that they remain Free through tireless vigilance both on foreign battlefields and here at home through simple, civic, maintenance.

And Fourth, they reject the notion that they must be personally invested; standing ready to bear the burdens and costs associated with the maintenance of Freedom or else suffer the consequences of slavery if they fail.

These then, comprise the most basic expression of failure by the population as we remain dispossessed of the traits of basic Character that were fundamental in the lives of our Fore Fathers and within the genetic makeup of the average Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps;

By the way, forgive me for the incessant use of “We” for I recognize that many do not fit this description of desolate character, but in truth, as a society, we are defined ultimately by our least common denominator.
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As a young Leader in the Corps I learned early on that you should never offer a criticism without a recommendation and in the spirit of that axiom, I will tell you now what I truly believe needs to change.

First we must be consistent in our efforts to educate the young within our sphere of influence that from us they will hear the truth that is becoming increasingly rejected and worse, revised.

I personally impress upon young men that they are not ready for life or the solemn duty to protect if they have not studied, voted and prayed. And that they are not ready if they are not wearing boots. You see for me, our very Nature can be expressed by something as simple as our choice of footgear.

Second; Contrary to popular opinion it does not take a Village; it takes responsible Parents.
New parents need to be encouraged to take charge of the early education of their children and to be insistent in this. Parents do not need to beg the forgiveness or permission of those populating the indoctrination mills we call the Public education system; our Children are our own, our posterity, our legacy, our survival as a Nation.

These young stewards of our progeny need to learn to do what parents and the adult community once understood; that we are the early guides of our children, identifying their natural talents and gifts, encouraging them with observations and guiding them toward the one station in life that will best exploit those talents. College is not the beginning of every kid’s life – for some, it is to their very destruction as wholesome, productive, critically thinking Americans. For a few, following their natural talents and gifting will mean, swearing an Oath, signing a contract of service and donning a uniform.

Third; they need to teach and impress upon their children that being a citizen does not mean expecting to be bottle fed entitlements for the remainder of their lives but instead becoming responsible stewards of this magnificent gift bestowed upon all of us by God and the Founders.

It means recognizing the various challenges facing the Nation, facing those challenges with a set jaw and seeking solutions.

Lastly, accepting the fact that Life is Tough and that it doesn’t suffer Fools, the morally corrupt or those with weak character.

The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom and ten years of deliberation, penned the language we see enshrined in the Constitution. In it they redefined for all time, the concept and the very definition of the King.

For the first time in the History of mankind, they established the Citizen as the King. As such, we, collectively have inherited the same responsibilities for the Nation, it’s security, fields, schools, farms, factories and the people that any King would. As the King, we select from our number those who should do our Will in our stead because like the King, we must delegate authority to others when it is not practical for us to be there.

Should we shirk this most basic of duties, we are as guilty as any King or Tyrant who abdicates his responsibilities and leaves the Kingdom unprotected or the People unsecured.
The Citizen King is also responsible for the maintenance of the Nation’s History and foundational Documents; its Museums, Edifices and Statuary. These things are physical reminders of our History – the good, the bad, the unfortunate. History is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to learn from.

Additionally, he is responsible for the care of the cemeteries filled with the lifeless bodies of better men who died with the hope their sacrifice would secure the Nation for one more generation.

Not all Americans serve in uniform, nor should they. But all American Citizens can and must serve in another way;

There are three things the good Citizen King can and must do if he is to remain a good Steward of the Nation he bears the ultimate responsibility for;

1.    Remain Educated – not just in the sciences and literature but in history and civic responsibility. Study the history of this Nation as well as the history of failed governments. Learn and then know what it is you believe.

An uneducated Citizen King, cannot make intelligent or moral decisions and lacks the information necessary to cast a meaningful vote.

2.    Debate – We have become an entirely intolerant, ignorant and uncivil society. There are those among us who believe the First Amendment to the Constitution defines, codifies and defends the Right to take to the street like a gaggle of Anarchists to scream, swear, shout down, assault and destroy everything in its wake.

I have very sad news for those ne’er-do-wells; it doesn’t.

This kind of behavior stands unchecked while the balance of society has chosen to submit to the carnage in silence rather than chancing an unsavory interaction with the Anarchists.

Historically, this kind of posture becomes the pivot point upon which civilizations turn toward self-immolation.

Know what you believe, and determine to deliver those ideas to the National debate. Be prepared to have those ideas challenged and be willing to accept that you may in fact be wrong.

We need to teach children to be thoughtful, knowing and prepared to stand for what they have learned to believe.

3.    Vote – History and the various censuses conducted over our History shows that less than 4% of the US population has ever donned a uniform.

Additionally, an infinitesimally small number of people have served in the political arena. Another roughly 3% serve as First Responders.

Unfortunately, those same censuses also reveal that less than 50% of voting aged citizens in this Nation bother to extract themselves from the potato chip strewn couch sitting in front of the TV playing Dancing with the Stars long enough to mark an ‘X’ on the Ballot next to their choice for anything, much less President.

This is remarkable considering 100% of the American population seems to have an opinion.

When the King neglects to do his duty, it is said that he has abdicated the throne and when the American citizen refuses to do this least of duties, he is guilty of abdicating his inherited responsibilities.

By choosing to ignore these three minimum requirements of duty as the King of the United States, we doom the Nation to the same fate as others that have eventually been consigned to the dusty shelves in the Library of failed civilization.

The possible failure of the Nation is bad enough but there is another cost associated with refusing to do our least duty; we place the most vulnerable in our society at far greater risk of death, injury and personal destruction.

Now you might think I am speaking of the unborn child or even school aged children. Some of you might even think I am speaking of the elderly, the infirmed, the institutionalized, but you would all be wrong.

No, the most vulnerable among us are actually the most physically fit, the most focused and in many ways, the best educated.

They are selfless and determined but most of all; trusting. I am speaking of the American War Fighter; those United States Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Coastguardsmen who share three things; a God-given compulsion to march into harm’s way, a signed contract to serve in that capacity for a specific period of time and who have sworn an Oath with no sunset clause.

Men and Women who are destined to serve in this way, willingly lay aside personal interests, the freedom to seek wealth, employment, a quiet life and in too many cases, even life itself; They sacrificially replace those things we take for granted and often with so little thankfulness, with one, simple thing; willingly giving over their very lives into the hands of Leadership – allowing both Civilian and Military Leaders to do with their lives as those Leaders deem fit.

When we choose not to vote or even to care enough to study up to the concerns of the day, we become complicit in whatever shenanigans government may choose to heap upon the War Fighter and here, I am speaking specifically, of COIN.

We allow men of low moral character and faulty vision to decide how America’s War Fighters can be forced to engage the enemy, governed by amoral COIN battlefield logic and Rules of Engagement that place them at undo risk. Too often, these Rules seek to defend those in the battle space who refuse to defend themselves.

I am neither conflicted nor ashamed to tell you I am first, an American.

For me, there are not 10,000 foreigners in the battlespace that are worth the life of a single American War Fighter and certainly not a United States Marine! And if there is a man seeking the Presidency who does not understand that, he is entirely unfit for the Oval Office!
This is my first motivation to vote.

I apologize for the deep nature of this message tonight, but as always, I believe it is from within the harsher messages that we can find personal redemption and National viability.
I will remain thankful, for the rest of my life, that God placed in me the burning desire to serve as a United States Marine.

There is still no other assemblage of men I would rather be surrounded by than a Company of tired, stinking, swearing Marines!

I will also spend the remainder of my life seeking the best representatives for this Nation and as a consequence, the best possible environment for those future generations of Marines to serve in.

I will end by saying this;

I have had two consistent prayers in the last several years and they have been this;

…That God would strike the heart of the electorate with an epiphany about the duties of the Citizen King; that he would burden him with such guilt for past neglect that he would not be able to sleep nor eat until he casts his necessary vote in the next election.

And lastly that God would grant me one final opportunity to fall while standing in the gap upon the wall securing this Nation; and as I lay mortally wounded upon the ground with my life’s blood oozing from my broken body, that it would be upon a bed of expended brass casings, surrounded by a sea of Digital Uniforms emblazoned with that blessed of all emblems, the Eagle Globe and Anchor!

John Bernard

First Sergeant, USMC retired