ESPRIT DE CORPS

Chris USMC Blues 1986

USMC Boot Camp – Private First Class, Chris Burns McBeth (1986)

When I went to Marine Corps boot camp it was the first time I’d really been exposed to a wide range of racial and socioeconomic influences in one place.

The Drill Instructors were a mix of White, Black, and Hispanic and they were masters at weeding out the racists and “individualists” amongst us and working to change their unproductive ways.

But it was not an easy process. In some cases, everyone paid for the mistakes of the one. And we learned together, over time, the blackest of the black guys might also be the smartest, the whitest of the white guys might be the fastest, the biggest amongst us (myself included) might be the most creative, the Mexican with the gang tattoos was the most analytical… and in sixteen weeks our group of diverse individuals from all walks of life became “one”.

We learned it takes a group of strong team players with differing ideas to form a truly strong unit. A cohesive group that decides as one, acts as one, and succeeds or fails as one… composed of people who couldn’t be more different.

If someone didn’t pull their weight, we helped them until they could. If someone got sick or hurt, we covered for them because we knew they’d do the same for us when our time came.

And even in our darkest hour, we knew we were surrounded by people who had our backs… no matter what. Trust me when I tell you, that feeling of team security is one of the most powerful on earth.

The French call this “Esprit de Corps”… the compelling feeling of devotion, enthusiasm, and strong regard for the HONOR of the group. Respecting and working toward a shared purpose, fellowship.

I believe the loss of Esprit De Corps is the primary reason so many of our soldiers come home and commit suicide. It’s difficult if not impossible for most people to understand, but in essence, they’ve lost their soul and the meaning of life is lost with it.

And there are very few opportunities to regain that feeling once we integrate back into society where division and fear are heaped upon us like junk mail in a constant, never ending stream.

Back to present day:

We see our politicians sewing the seeds of hatred and division and they do it under the guise of strength, patriotism, and God… when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

What they’re selling has nothing to do with “Making America Great Again” and everything to do with turning the clock backward to a day when psycho and sociopaths could do what ever they wanted without consequence.

What they’re selling is a return to a day when women knew their proper place in society, the weak died off because they deserved it, and less fortunate citizens were nothing more than street trash without human rights.

What they’re selling is a place where the rich treat the poor as a virus, and do everything they can to eradicate it… but not until after they’ve squeezed every bit of profit possible from their suffering.

What they’re selling is all about people in power (i.e. money) acting like Rock Stars taking what ever they want, and acting out like spoiled petulant children who have never been taught the value of compromise and the common-good (and who are in need of a good hard spanking if you ask me).

So let me come right out with it:

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and people like them are dangerous to this country beyond measure.

Their fascism is giving rise to the worst Neanderthal “instincts” in us all, and the longer we let it go on, the more emboldened the weak-minded amongst us will become.

And in doing so, they weaken us all.

People throw the terms “fascist” and “fascism” around, but I suspect most of you don’t take the time to look up and understand the definition so you just breeze right by and dismiss the words as subterfuge or nonsense.

So I’ll make it easy:

fas·cism

“an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.”

Hmmm. Based on that definition it may not be evident why fascism is a bad thing… perhaps because we don’t fully remember what happens when fascism is allowed to drive public policy, business practices, and foreign policy?

Obviously you don’t need to look very far back in our recent history to remember what happens when fascism takes root and becomes the rule of law:

Just remember Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and even Joseph Stalin (although his version of “right wing” was the stuff of most current American “right wingers” worst nightmares… socialism!)

And to my Republican friends: I’m not talking about Republicans!

The people I call “real Republicans”, the compassionate conservatives who are moderate, those who still understand the importance of a social contract, the people who long for a return of compromise in the name of progress and the “Esprit De Corps” we so desperately all need.

No, I’m talking about this Frankenstein of mean-spirited hateful politicians and their followers who’ve suddenly come out of the shadows to “lead” our country back into a time when the strong prey on the weak and the weak provide the labor to enrich their masters.

These “ultra-conservatives” are crazy, they are selfish, they are self-centered… and they believe they are God’s gift to society and this world. Ted Cruz actually believes GOD sent him here to save us from… I’m not sure what.

But one thing I am absolutely sure of: Their version of “Making America Great Again” scares the shit out of me.

I believe with all my heart, anyone who would vote for Trump or Cruz must be out of their minds, but I understand how this has happened.

We are bombarded by the media with negativity and fear 24 x 7, and according to them we’re at an all time low in our country. We are standing on a precipice. Everything we hold dear to our hearts is UNDER ATTACK! But they’ve been selling that bullshit since time began. That’s what they do to profit off our fear.

And I say it just isn’t true. If you breath, open your mind, and take the bullshit out of the equation you’ll find we’ve been in much worse places in our past and things today are not that bad for most of us, considering the hurdles we’ve overcome as a country.

We’ve made real progress in righting many wrongs, improving our over all position, and we’ve begun programs meant to strengthen the weakest amongst us and open doors to new industry providing employment for new generations.

But we still have a LONG way to go, and the people in power, the ones who pull the strings, the people who justify their selfish actions in the name of profits and “patriotism”: To them I say enough is enough!

And to each of you, I say it’s time we spent our energy on making America great again by bringing people together, not splitting them farther apart.

There’s a reason why fusion is so much more powerful than fission: The combination of energy amplifies the outcome.

With Esprit De Corps will come true progress, and coming together is the only way that happens.

 

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