BY JEREMY KUZMAROV
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe released a statement earlier this month touting his support for conservative values in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA], which passed in the Senate this week.
Inhofe in the statement bragged about helping to nix a provision that would force women to register for the selective service and said that the NDAA would help “make the U.S. more secure” while taking care of the “men and women who bravely serve our nation.”
According to Inhofe, the best thing about the NDAA was that it [a] boosted defense spending by $25 billion above President Joe Biden’s “woefully inadequate budget request;” [b] provides significant funding to “defeat Chinese aggression;” [c] authorizes $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine to deter Russia; and [d] prioritizes nuclear modernization.
Of all these supposed benefits, none promote conservative values, which center on sustaining a fiscally responsible government, reducing unnecessary taxation, and respecting tradition.
The NDAA uses fabricated national security threats to support a military budget that is more than the next 11 countries combined. Where is the fiscal conservatism in that?
And respecting tradition? Wasn’t it George Washington who warned in his Farewell address about the danger of foreign entanglements and “overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty”?
Inhofe claims that the NDAA “looks out for Oklahoma by ensuring that its five military installations and the surrounding communities are fully resourced,” and by “promoting partnerships between universities [including OU, OSU and the University of Tulsa], industry partners and the Department of Defense.”
This claim is a lie, too, because Oklahomans interests are not best looked after in an economy rooted in war; and in which the intellectual independence and integrity of its universities is compromised through partnership with the world’s most destructive military machine.
In an article published in the National Catholic Reporter, Art Laffin wrote that the gargantuan military budget championed by Inhofe is “an affront to God.” Laffin quoted from Martin Luther King Jr., who said that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Inhofe may fashion himself a conservative, but in practice he has committed himself to policies that should offend the sensibility of any true conservative – and decent human being.