By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
There is a brouhaha brewing over a confusing statement written on the inside crown of a West Point Cadet’s dress cover which states, “Communism will win.” A young Army soldier-turned-officer by the name of Spenser Rapone, who served honorably in Afghanistan and then graduated from the Academy in 2016, felt that it was important to express himself politically, and he is understandably in hot water. The slogan is bad enough, but wait, there’s more.
Here is what stands out to me. First, there is huge store put in the care of one’s dress uniform, especially for something as important as graduation. Spit and polish for the shoes, creases that are so sharp they could double as weapons and cut you, and brass that shines like gold on your cover’s medallion, your buttons, and your buckle. Soldiers spend hours getting ready for such a special occasion. In a word, you just don’t vandalize your cover, or officer’s hat. I don’t care if you used a permanent Sharpie to write the preamble to the Constitution on the inside of your cap, you are out of line, and I am glad someone is calling him on it.
Secondly, as West Point officer in your dress uniform, you carry yourself with proper decorum and grace. A fist, something that as a socialist I used to make fairly often more than 45 years ago, began to be used in 1917 by all manner of groups whose ideologies are not consistent with those of an American military officer. The Black Panthers used the fist, white supremacists used it, along with Mexican revolutionaries, Chinese government officials, the Communist Party of pre-WWII Germany, US Olympic Athletes in the 1968 Mexico City games, and others. I can’t tell you what is going on in this kid’s head and heart, all I know is that when I pulled the kind of stuff he has, I hated America, and I certainly could not make a pretense of taking an oath that I would defend the Constitution “from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Maybe he can.
Spenser either does not know the true history of communism, or he secretly agrees with the actions of the nations that have killed many times more than the Japanese and the Nazis combined. You can’t have it both ways. It is estimated that in Russia alone, from 1917 until present day, the communist system has killed more than 61,000,000, and with their brethren in other countries committing “democide,” the number is close to 94,000,000. “Communism will win?” That’s your hope, US Army 2nd Lt. Rapone?
Enter Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is so disturbed by the lack of action on the part of West Point that he is calling for Spenser’s censure or dismissal. Here is a portion of his letter to them:
“It is extremely concerning that someone who so often expressed such hostile views towards the United States’ system of government was able to obtain a commission,” he wrote. “(His) revolutionary ideas were harbored long before he was commissioned as an Army second lieutenant. Were West Point administrators or faculty aware of his views and behavior?”
Good question, Senator Rubio. I hope we get our answer sooner than later.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner