Help Us Reach Our Goal

We write to you as U.S. residents with great respect for your domestic policies. 

We support the position of more than 25,000 people who signed a petition during your presidential campaign urging you to take on militarism. 

We believe that Dr. King was correct to assert that racism,  extreme materialism, and militarism needed to be challenged together  rather than separately, and that this remains true. 

We believe this is not only practical advice, but a moral imperative, and -- not coincidentally -- good electoral politics.

 

During your presidential campaign, you were asked repeatedly how  you would pay for human and environmental needs that could be paid for  with small fractions of military spending. Your answer was consistently  complicated and involved raising taxes. We believe it would be more  effective to more often mention the existence of the military and its  price tag. "I would cut 4% of spending on the never-audited Pentagon" is  a superior answer in every way to any explanation of any tax plan.

 

Much of the case that we believe ought to be made is made in a video  posted on your Facebook page in early 2018. But it is generally absent  from your public comments and policy proposals. Your recent 10-point plan omits any mention of foreign policy whatsoever. 

We believe this omission is not just a shortcoming. We believe it  renders what does get included incoherent.


 Military spending is well  over 60%  of discretionary spending. A public policy that avoids mentioning its  existence is not a public policy at all. Should military spending go up  or down or remain unchanged? This is the very first question. We are  dealing here with an amount of money at least comparable to what could  be obtained by taxing the wealthy and corporations (something we are  certainly in favor of as well).

 

A tiny fraction of U.S. military spending could end starvation,  the lack of clean water, and various diseases worldwide. No  humanitarian policy can avoid the existence of the military. No  discussion of free college or clean energy or public transit should omit mention of the place where a trillion dollars a year is going.

 

War and preparations for war are among the top destroyers, if not the top destroyer, of our natural environment. No environmental policy can ignore them. 

Militarism is the top source of the erosion of liberties, and top justification for government secrecy, top creator of refugees, top saboteur of the rule of law, top facilitator  of xenophobia and bigotry, and top reason we are at risk of nuclear  apocalypse. There is no area of our social life that is untouched by  what Eisenhower called the military industrial complex.

 

The U.S. public favors cutting military spending. 

Even candidate Trump declared the wars since 2001 to have been counterproductive, a statement that appears not to have hurt him on election day.

 

A December 2014 Gallup poll  of 65 nations found the United States to be far and away the country  considered the largest threat to peace in the world, and a Pew poll  in 2017 found majorities in most countries polled viewing the United  States as a threat. A United States responsible for providing clean  drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others would be  more secure and face far less hostility around the world; that result  would cost a fraction of what is invested in making the United States  resented and disliked.

 

Economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program. 


We compliment you on your domestic policies. We recognize that  the presidential primaries were rigged against you, and we do not wish  to advance the baseless idea that you were fairly defeated. We offer our  advice in a spirit of friendship. Some of us worked in support of your  presidential campaign. Others of us would have worked, and worked hard,  for your nomination had you been a candidate for peace.

 

SIGNED BY 

Elliott Adams, Chair, Meta Peace Team, Training Team, and former President, Veterans For Peace

Christine Ahn, International Coordinator, Women Cross DMZ

Shireen Al-Adeimi, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

Hisham Ashur, Amnesty International of Charlottesville, VA

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