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Republicans Had Better Reject Democrats’ NDAA Culture War If They Want Any Praise

Republicans added common-sense proposals in this year’s NDAA that will slow the destruction of our institutions — but it’s not enough.


House Republicans successfully implemented a number of common-sense proposals into this year’s National Defense Authorization Act that will slow the leftist destruction of our institutions.

Before passing the defense spending bill, Republicans added amendments to obstruct funding for abortion, so-called “gender-affirming care” (which includes transgender surgeries, wrong-sex hormones, and other misplaced and exorbitant medical expenses), mandated DEI training, and military-funded drag shows, among other provisions.

The vote took place on July 14 and concluded with 219 for and 210 against. Members of the House Freedom Caucus proposed the amendments. However, four Republicans voted against the bill, including Thomas Massie of Kentucky and three caucus members: Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Eli Crane of Arizona. Part of their opposition is related to the fact that the bill still includes another $300 million in security assistance for Ukraine. At present, total U.S. financial support to the Zelensky regime since the outbreak of the war in February 2022 amounts to more than $5.6 billion.

Republicans such as Reps. Ronny Jackson of Texas, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania argued that the issues around abortion and transgenderism make no sense in terms of finances or force readiness. The leftist response to what seems like common sense for most of the country — and indeed, would have been acknowledged as such by Democrats a mere 10 years ago — reveals the unbridgeable ideological chasm that currently separates the two sides.

For the left, the Republican Party’s opposition to transgenderism, on-demand partial-birth abortion, and a racially woke military have become more than the remnants of a backward worldview. They are now threats to national security.

Rep. Jennifer McClellan, D-Va., declared, “Extreme MAGA Republicans have turned the NDAA into yet another vehicle to wage their culture wars.” Chrissy Houlahan, D-Penn., stated, “As someone who has worn the uniform, and has a uterus — unlike many opining on this subject — I’m furious.”

These statements helpfully clarify the actual contours of America’s political landscape at present, and thus illuminate exactly what is at stake for those who call themselves conservatives. As it currently stands, both sides view the other as extreme and antithetically opposed to their own position. For those on the right, that we are even debating the notion that the military should fund abortion or genital mutilation surgeries for servicemembers — let alone actively attempt to inculcate them in the tenets of so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” — is the sign of a sick and diseased body politic. Conversely, any attempt to obstruct this ideological march of history is for the left not simply reactionary but fundamentally anti-progressive and therefore anti-human.

In this sense, McClellan’s argument regarding Republicans simply “waging their culture wars” is logically consistent given the first premises from which the left rationalizes its position. If history marches toward total world liberation, then not having the spread of “human rights” as defined by the right to dignity — here understood to be autonomous control over one’s own identity and the subsequent mandate for all to acknowledge that identity — is indeed irrational and wrong. The right to define oneself must be the central organizing principle of the American regime.

The point of faith in diversity as our greatest strength allows those who have no conception of combat to argue that less of it will logically weaken our fighting force. Likewise, for such individuals, a military that does not undergo DEI struggle sessions will not have the proper consciousness to effectively carry out its mission.

This is not a fringe position on the left. Statements by National Security spokesman John Kirby regarding his disgust with the bill and President Joe Biden’s inevitable veto illustrate as much.

“It’s very difficult to see the president supporting legislation that would make it harder for Americans to serve in uniform and to not be able to do so with dignity and not be able to do so with the proper care that they need — both medical and mental care,” Kirby said.

The assumption that those suffering from gender dysphoria should even be allowed to serve in the nation’s armed forces — something President Donald Trump stood against — is, for those on the right, false (or at least it should be).

“It’s very difficult to see that the president would ever, ever sign legislation that would put our troops at greater risk or put our readiness at risk,” Kirby continued. Putting our troops at greater risk here equates to not providing total and unequivocal affirmation of their self-actualized identity. Troop readiness ostensibly means allowing servicewomen to get abortions, as child-rearing could potentially get in the way of would-be mothers serving the interests of American foreign policy.

All this also helps explain the total commitment that those on the left have to support the government in Kiev in the fight against Moscow. Defeating backwards Russia is a triumph for leftism, and therefore a necessary step in guaranteeing the dignity Kirby speaks of to every person across the world. Spreading “freedom” (leftist liberation) and “democracy” (rule by those amenable to enforcing such liberation) justifies the American military in the eyes of the left.

Republicans also targeted other symbols of the current regime through their amendments to the NDAA. No flying “unauthorized flags” (i.e., pride flags) on government properties to celebrate leftist shibboleth Pride Month? The left answers: The rainbow/BLM flag represents who we are as a nation and should be flapping in the wind in front of every U.S. embassy, year-round.

Stop the Defense Department from sponsoring drag shows on military bases? We should be funding men provocatively dancing as women in every unenlightened hovel across the world, from Uruguay to Uganda (perhaps especially Uganda).

The bill will likely face serious revisions in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and Biden would certainly veto it as it currently stands. The final NDAA will probably trade some small, inconsequential matter (like banning government-funded drag at military installations) while enshrining the big stuff. There is no way the Senate or Biden will go along with the amendments on abortion and trans support.

Still, should the House Republicans be quietly lauded for at least forcing through a few symbolic wins? Not if they continue to accept the legitimacy of the current U.S. regime without seriously pushing back on its deluded premises.

Most will likely fold on the important features in the current bill after the inevitable revisions come back. The four Freedom Caucus holdouts and their principled stand against leftist internationalism, which many of their fellow party members have imbibed, are effectively shifting the Republican Party rightward. No meaningful change will come about until the rest of the party finds the guts to begin acting in the same manner.

This article has been updated since publication.

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