For years, I wondered what journalists and other influential liberals were doing on Twitter. They treat the social media network as if it were some kind of private clubhouse where they talk to each other freely, blissfully unaware that they are confirming everyone’s worst suspicions of how the elites think.
“I have covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world in my career,” said Edward Luce, author and associate editor of The FinancialTimes, announcement recently. “I have never encountered a more nihilistic, dangerous and despicable political force than today’s Republicans. Nothing close. Suffice it to say, Luce’s comments are not surprising – he should be quite at obvious fact that the mainstream media is a completely broken institution and they profit by creating political conflict.And, speaking of Twitter, you can scroll down and find a number of leading financial consultants and… other notables claiming to agree with Luce, not to mention the roughly 75,000 people who “liked” the tweet.
It was all bad, but what really raised eyebrows was when former General Michael Hayden stepped in to say“I agree. And I was the director of the CIA. (Hayden got 124,000 likes.) To be clear, if your job is to study violent ideologies or threat assessment and you conclude that “today’s Republicans” – whatever that broad category is supposed to mean – are more “nihilistic, dangerous and despicable” than ISIS, Boko Haram or Al-Qaeda, you are completely eaten up by the political or very bad at your job.(And there’s good reason to criticize Hayden’s job performance, as he was also the head of the National Security Agency during 9/11.)
Along with saying a number of crazy things on Twitter in recent years, Hayden also put his professional reputation on the line in the fall of 2020. As social media scrambled to censor Hunter Biden’s laptop news , which contained voluminous piles of information. on Hunter’s hearty drug addiction, corrupt deals with foreign governments involving his father, pornographic videos and sexual abuse of trafficked women – Hayden was one of 50 senior intelligence officials who signed a letter much relayed by the media declaring the laptop “Russian disinformation”. In truth, their letter was misinformation.
However, pointing out that Hayden defines “nihilistic, dangerous, and despicable” in an entirely self-serving way doesn’t make his remarks any less irresponsible and dangerous. If the Republicans are worse than ISIS, how does that imply they should be treated? Should we call for counterterrorism operations against regular Republicans upset with what their local school board is doing? Spy on their mass communications? Of course, the American “national security” establishment is already doing these things.
When Joe Biden was elected, there was a common media refrain. by Luce FinancialTimes said, “The adults are back in charge in Washington.” CNN said: “Joe Biden’s message to Vladimir Putin? The adults are back in charge. Same vogue got into the act, “Joe Biden’s cabinet picks send a clear message: The adults are back in the driver’s seat.” (Because nothing says “adults are back in charge,” quite like filling executive agencies with non-binary drag queens who embrace polyamorous relationships that involve posing as dogs.)
Despite all the complaints about Trump — and I sympathize with a number of them — comments like Hayden’s make it clear how he got elected. I’m 46, I’ve been actively covering politics professionally for almost a quarter of a century, and I don’t remember “adults being in charge.” They certainly weren’t when General Michael Hayden and his ilk slumbered America into two decades of horribly mismanaged foreign wars that were used to justify the massive erosion of constitutional rights at home.
Trump was the first major politician, let alone the President, to question the judgment of our national security establishment. I don’t think Hayden took the unsubtle Trumpian critique of his role in America’s failed international conflicts very well, even if it doesn’t matter much. Despite the obvious failures, the national security establishment hasn’t really changed because of Trump. For example, Hayden still sits on the board of directors of the Atlantic Council, which is probably the most influential American think tank on foreign affairs.
And this despite the fact that you can tune in to Twitter and see him regularly showing so little compassion for tens of millions of Americans frustrated with the country’s direction – a path in which he himself had a part. outsized by putting us – he thinks Republicans are worse than terrorists.
Suffice it to say, I could frame my criticisms of Hayden and the American foreign policy establishment in much more colorful and demanding terms, but I sincerely hope that Hayden, and so many others in similar positions, will see how this politically motivated hostility harms the country as a whole and is a mirror image of what they claim to oppose. And I pray that all Americans fighting for the soul of our nation will reflect on our own failures as much as we are quick to blame others.