GOP Senator invites white nationalists into armed services

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In his typical mediocre college football coach analysis, the senior Republican Senator from Alabama lobbed some particularly odd and offensive criticism at the Biden Administration by saying domestic violent extremists should be allowed to serve in the military. This won’t be the first time the senator and Defense Secretary are at loggerheads.

In his stunning statement Wednesday, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said that white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, seeing no reason that they aren’t like any other regular American.

National security experts describe “white nationalism” as a term used to launder the tenets of white supremacy by extremist groups into mainstream discussion.

The Republican senator’s statement was in direct contrast to President Biden and Defense Secretary Austin’s efforts to promote equality and inclusion in the military.

When pinned down by a Washington Post reporter, surely wondering if Tubberville understood what he was saying regarding white nationalism, Tuberville said:

“They call them that, I call them Americans.”

Clearly, Tuberville meant to convey two ideas.

Firstly, only Democrats believe that being a white nationalist is a disqualifying factor or even a pejorative in this day and age.

Secondly, Tuberville, unlike Democrats, calls white nationalists “Americans,” and – as such, should be allowed to serve in the military, a military as heterogenous as America itself and a military dedicated to fighting for one country itself.

Just so we can be clear about what the football coach who lost his Auburn University job over his offensive failures, Google defines white nationalism thusly: “a type of racial nationalism or pan-nationalism which espouses the belief that white people are a race and seeks to develop and maintain a white racial and national identity.”

The attitude seems anathema to a united fighting force.

It’s another example of mediocre college football coach-level thinking from a man who doesn’t know the three branches of government or that America fought the Nazis in World War II.

He’s the same Alabama senator holding up hundreds of military promotions because he really wants to take away women’s rights to an abortion.

Ultimately, it’s an even sadder episode for a man that lead hundreds of black football players in his career. The Post reports:

In this interview, he appears to have embraced a different aspect of Trump-adjacent rhetoric: that Biden and his administration are trying to villainize the right as riddled with racists and domestic terrorists. It’s just that he got it backward. Instead of suggesting that decent, hard-working Americans were being cast as racists, he’s suggesting that racists are simply decent, hard-working Americans.”

It sure may be possible for racists to be hard-working Americans, but they certainly aren’t the type a rational American wants to serve in the military, the police department, the fire department, a teacher, a physician, or any position of trust.

That’s why Tuberville’s office is 100% wrong.

But it didn’t stop him from giving an even worse interview where he “went deeper into the problem.”

“We are losing in the military so fast,” says the Alabama senator condoning people who condone domestic terrorism serving in the armed forces of America. “Our readiness in terms of recruitment. And why? I’ll tell you why, because the Democrats are attacking our military, saying we need to get out the white extremists, the white nationalists, people that don’t believe in our agenda, as Joe Biden’s agenda. They’re destroying it.”

The quote goes on but Tuberville’s intent is all too clear.

In the football coach’s mind, racists strengthen the military.

People sensitive to the lives and realities of others weaken it.

There is no alternative.

And it’s not even that big a risk for him to state it in this climate, without wearing a white hood.

The nation cannot form a cohesive fighting force if some of those fighting believe that only a “white America” can be successful and thus will fight in that manner, protecting their own, possibly getting others hurt.

Use of the word “they” in describing “white nationalists” versus what he “calls Americans” is clearly meant to inform the public that he considers himself a white nationalist.

In one respect, it makes sense. Tuberville is protected in a deeply Republican state. This is the perfect time to “go long” on what would otherwise be risky or simply ruinous pronouncements.

But the blowback from other Republicans (certainly not Democrats or independents) forced Tuberville’s office to “clarify” his all too clear statement.

“Sen. Tuberville’s quote that is cited shows that he was being skeptical of the notion that there are white nationalists in the military,” the senator’s staff’s official statement to the Post reads, “not that he believes they should be in the military. He believes the men and women in uniform are patriots. Secretary Austin seems to think otherwise, subjecting them to extremism training as his very first act in office.” (author’s emphasis)

This would seem to have nothing to do with Tubberville’s original statement.

And Secretary Austin doubtless has good reasons both as a former four-star general and the first African-American to serve in his role to root out extremism in the American military.

So this seems like a good time to defer to Secretary Austin on national defense matters.

Indeed, if Tuberville knew defense and how to attack best, he’d likely still be making far more money as a head coach in the SEC.

Contact me at, or @JasonMiciak, or SUBSTACK: Much Left Ado

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He’s a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he’s devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they’re doing.

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