By Dr. Lani Kass

The presidential election is still eight months away. Yet the campaign to preclude a second Trump administration has already reached a fever pitch. In the past two weeks, the public has been treated to “searing” images of the undemocratic, uncouth, patriarchal, racist, xenophobic, homophobic dystopia America is doomed to become should the GOP win in November. Against the backdrop of the most virulent, overt, and violent antisemitism sweeping the US in the wake of Hamas’ barbarous savagery on October 7, 2023, the media has chosen to spotlight and pillory “white nationalism” as the clear and present danger.

First, a new to me, White Rural Rage by Tom Schaller and Paul Waldman, was hailed by the New York Times as “an important book that ought to be read by anyone who wants to understand politics in the perilous Age of Trump.” (David Corn, New York Times, Feb 27, 2024).


The book explores “why rural Whites have failed to reap the benefits from their outsize political power and why…they are the most likely group to abandon democratic norms and traditions. Their rage—stoked daily by Republican politicians and the conservative media—now poses an existential threat to the United States. [The authors] show how vulnerable U.S. democracy has become to rural Whites who…are increasingly inclined to hold racist and xenophobic beliefs, to believe in conspiracy theories, to accept violence as a legitimate course of political action, and to exhibit antidemocratic tendencies…. [B]y stoking rural Whites’ anger…conservative politicians and talking heads create a feedback loop of resentments that are undermining American democracy.”




Next, Politico’s Heidi Przybyla, an award-winning national investigative correspondent and a veteran Washington journalist, told Michael Steele of MSNBC that people who believe human rights come from God are “Christian nationalists”. Przybyla’s comments triggered an outrage. Yet, instead of apologizing, she doubled down. Here’s a taste of her newest piece: “All person’s spiritual motivations are entitled to respect. Once these motivations take them onto the stage of politics and lawmaking that will affect the lives of fellow citizens, however, they…. can expect journalistic scrutiny…. They cannot expect exemption from criticism from people who oppose their agendas nor any extra deference for their political words or actions simply because they are motivated by religious belief…. Christianity is a religion. Christian Nationalism is a political movement…. The thing that unites them as Christian nationalists is that they believe our rights as Americans and as all human beings do not come from any earthy [sic] authority. They don’t come from Congress, from the Supreme Court, they come from God.”


People who have read America’s founding document—the Constitution, which every Serviceman and appointed or elected official swears “to protect and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic”—are a mortal threat to our Nation’s survival.


And finally, on March 3, CBS’s 60 Minutes broadcast a lengthy segment about “Moms for Democracy” waging a “dangerous campaign to ban books”—specifically ones “focused on race and gender”—from school libraries. Could the dystopia of Fahrenheit 451 and Nazi Germany circa 1933—when students publicly burned over 25,000 books by Jewish authors—be far behind?


We are witnessing what Hannah Arendt, in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, called “the atomization of society.” It’s a very effective communist, Nazi, and fascist tactic: break up every regular, natural connection in society: the family, the church/synagogue/temple; pervert the language; and isolate people from each other and their communities—all to enable totalitarian control. You, the individual, are completely alone—an atom: no family, no community, no religious solace. You trust nobody because everyone can turn on you and be rewarded for that denunciation. That includes your children. Whether “right” or “left,” fascist or communist, totalitarianism of all stripes finds fertile ground in frightened, isolated individuals driven from their fellow countrymen. And, as George Orwell notes in his famous Animal Farm: “The result of preaching totalitarian doctrines is to weaken the instinct using which free peoples know what is or is not dangerous.”


Don’t believe any of this could happen in the U.S.? Think back a few years: COVID was upon us, and “atomization” was in full swing. Everyone masked up and stood 6 feet apart, isolated from family, friends, and community. Most of us avoided holiday celebrations, houses of worship, weddings and funerals, movies, concerts, restaurants, malls, county fairs, and gyms. Our children stayed home from school, and we didn’t go to work. Many of us also lined up for hours, rain or shine, to receive not one but two jabs of a new vaccine of dubious effectiveness and serious, though largely unforeseen, after-effects. We “trusted science” and believed in officialdom. We’re still reaping the consequences.


Ubiquitous technology drives this “atomization” to an unprecedented level. You relate to others in “virtual reality”—in cyberspace. Your “friends” are on Facebook. Your social status is measured by the number of your “followers”. The more clicks you get, the closer you inch to the coveted status of “influencer”. Except that none of this is real. It’s a mass delusion—a “hallucination”— the original meaning of “cyber” per Norbert Weiner’s 1948 book Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine.


In the digital realm, truth is erased because one can discover “facts” to fit any preconceived notion, narrative, or worldview imaginable. There is no objective truth any longer. It’s all about “your truth”. We have access to unprecedented amounts of information, yet our knowledge, understanding, and intellectual discourse are more limited than ever. There’s no “free market of ideas” any longer, as we assemble with like-minded people, sharing mutually reinforcing opinions in closed echo chambers.


We know deep down that none of this is good. Yet, we continue to “visit” Dr. Google, “educate ourselves” at Wikipedia University, share our most intimate thoughts with strangers on Quora, and spend our free time in “chat rooms”—instead of seeing actual physicians, learning facts and ideas from great books, and sharing experiences in actual rooms, with loyal friends. Soon, we will no longer be citizens of the greatest republic on earth. We’re unmoored, atomized “Netizens”—citizens of the Internet. Just ask Private Bradley/Chelsea Manning or Airman Jack Teixeira.


The government controls the language to disorient the “atomized” individual further. “Political correctness” takes hold. Things that were OK to say yesterday will get you a reprimand in the workplace today. You’ll be censored online. So, you learn to avoid articulating what you think because you need to keep your job, you don’t want to be “canceled,” and, most of all, you dread being labeled “racist,” “homophobic,” or “a Christian nationalist.” You self-censor. Just like they did in the USSR. To quote Orwell again, “The sinister fact about literary censorship…is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban.”


Soon, an entirely new language takes hold. We learn that BLACK is spelled differently when referring to a color (“black”) and race (“Black”). We’re told that “chair” doesn’t only mean the furniture we sit on, but also—depending on the all-important “context”—the person directing a board. We discover that not only your pets can be “groomed,” but so can our children.


You start saying “he or she” to be “inclusive,”—but soon, that’s not enough, and you are told to ask people about “their preferred pronouns.” You learn new words, like “cisgender,” “woke,” “micro-aggression,” “triggered,” and “CAUdacity”—the reprehensible audacity of whites, a cliche coined by Kelisa Wing, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Officer at the Department of Defense Education Agency (DODEA).


You’re also taught that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination” and that “you must be antiracist to pursue justice” (Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist). Thus, like in Animal Farm, you learn, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Therefore, “this work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.”


Yet we still cringe when we hear that the United States Air Force Academy promotes a program that bans “cisgender men.” (The academy sent an email on Sept. 14, 2022, informing cadets that the 2023 application for the Brooke Owens Fellowship for “undergraduate women and gender minorities interested in aerospace” stating that “If you are a cisgender woman, a transgender woman, non-binary, agender, bigender, two-spirit, demi gender, genderfluid, genderqueer, or another form of gender minority, this program is for you.” If you’re a “cisgender man, this program isn’t for you.”)


We recoil because we know that the appeal to self is corrosive to unit cohesion. We also know that promoting individual identity and self-actualization—focusing on what is different among us—fosters division. And yet we are repeatedly told that it’s precisely such “diversity”—not of thought, but of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation—that makes our Nation prosperous and our military strong.


We try to reconcile this with our motto “E pluribus unum”—out of many, one—which we see daily, written in capital letters, on every coin and bill in our wallets, on our passports, and in every federal building. But no matter how hard we try, we can’t reconcile the irreconcilable. That inevitably leads to cognitive dissonance, which is disorienting, disconcerting, and further “atomizing.”


“Newspeak” originated in George Orwell’s seminal novel 1984, published in Britain in 1949. “Newspeak” is a controlled language of simplified grammar and small vocabulary designed to limit critical thinking. It prescribes the individual’s ability to articulate and communicate abstract concepts deemed “thoughtcrimes.” To quote Orwell: “Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two is four. If that is granted, all else follows.” But, in this Brave New World, to borrow the title of Aldous Huxley’s famous book, we’re told that “two plus two equals five.”


In Orwell’s dystopia, “the Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture, and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental nor result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. Only by reconciling contradictions can power be retained indefinitely.”


In today’s Department of Defense, “Diversity management calls for creating a culture of inclusion in which the diversity…shapes how the work is done…. Although good diversity management rests on a foundation of fair treatment, it is not about treating everyone equally. This concept can be difficult, especially for leaders who grew up with the EO-inspired mandate to be color- and gender-blind. Blindness to difference, however, can lead to a culture of assimilation in which differences are suppressed rather than leveraged. Cultural assimilation, a key to military effectiveness in the past, will be challenged as inclusion becomes, and needs to become the norm.”


“Traditional basic training, for example, is focused on assimilating individuals into a fighting force tied together by adopting similar terminology, customs, and attitudes. However, current military operations are executed within more complex, uncertain, and rapidly changing operational environments that defy the war-fighting standards of the past and need to be met with an adaptive and agile leadership ready to respond more flexibly… The need to leverage diversity while maintaining unit cohesion will require implementing new training and procedures and addressing new tensions—important elements of diversity management”.


The above quote is from the final report of a Congressionally mandated Commission on “Military Leadership Diversity”, published in 2011. Orwell would have been proud. The vocabulary of “Newspeak” contains no words to articulate complex ideas. There is no “honor,” “courage,” “shame,” “dignity,” “unity,” “freedom.” Without those words, people literally can’t think about abstract concepts. Ideas are reduced to cliches. By limiting language, “Newspeak” limits thought. This is reflected in the tortured “doublespeak” and logical contradictions of the MLDC Final Report.




Few know the MLDC, its origins, and its sweeping recommendations. Yet has a revealing 3-pager titled “How Did the Military Leadership Diversity Commission Come About”. It states that “there is sparse documentation available” and the “origins are in the thinking of 4 members of the House of Representatives”: Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Kendrick Meek (D-FL), and Kathy Castor, (D-FL). It became law in September 2008 and was expanded to include the National Guard and Reserve in the 2010 Defense Authorization Act.


It is baffling that nobody in Congress paid attention to what they were legislating. There is no evidence of any debate on the matter. Yet the report—and the implementing law—are breathtaking in scope and implications. MLDC calls for our military’s fundamental “transformation”—making racial and gender representation a “top defense priority” and placing the POTUS and SECDEF as the chief executives accountable for implementing it.


MLDC compared this “transformation” to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of October 1986, “which imposed joint operations on an unwilling military.” Ask about Joint Operations, and everyone in the military and DOD knows precisely what it is: how we fight. Ask about MLDC, and you’ll get blank stares. How is this possible? Simple: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth” (Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945).


MLDC spawned a vast, self-perpetuating bureaucracy to implement its sweeping recommendations across the “defense enterprise.” But that wasn’t enough. On September 23, 2022, Secretary Lloyd Austin established a new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODAI), appointing General Lester Lyles, USAF (ret), as its chair. Coincidentally, General Lyles also chaired the MLDC.


In accepting the appointment, General Lyles stated: “This year marks a historic event as the first committee to provide the Secretary of Defense with advice and recommendations to improve racial/ethnic diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity as a force multiplier in the military. I look forward to working with my fellow committee members to help the Defense Department so that our national security is strengthened by the full participation of a diverse and inclusive environment [sic] with service members of every background.”




This “doublespeak” would make Orwell proud. So would the many new contractions, abbreviations, and acronyms—all typical of “Newspeak” and all designed to obfuscate meaning and limit thinking—that have entered our everyday lexicon: BTW, IMHO, IRL, LOL, YOLO, IDK, FOMO, SMH. Look at your kids’ and grandkids ‘text messages. It’s all “Newspeak”. So are CRT, WEF, BLM, ANTIFA, DEI, MRFF, LGBTQIA2S+. Emojis replace words. ✊🏿 😂🤦‍♀️🤷🏾‍♂️👨‍👨‍👧‍👧 We reduce our ideas to “sound bites”, to fit the permissible 140-280 characters of a Tweet or text message. Even Orwell couldn’t have foreseen such intellectual impoverishment.

Against this backdrop, a new Utopia is fast emerging, wherein men can give birth—heck, there’s even an emoji for that. 🫃There are tampons in the boy’s bathroom, but boys can use the girls’ bathroom if they like it. There are 57+ genders, which are different from the “sex assigned at birth”—you know, when the doctor turned the newborn upside down and told the parents: “It’s a boy, or “It’s a girl”.


But don’t worry dear child, “Stalin will secure your happy childhood”—as I was told starting in kindergarten in Communist Poland. So, if you’re displeased with what that doctor said, you can be Johnny today and Julie tomorrow. And, even if your parents “don’t get you,” the teachers have your back. They’ll call you by your “preferred pronouns” (straight from Orwell’s “Newspeak”), offer you “happy pills”—and maybe even refer you to a good doctor who’d remove or replace somebody. Yup, you’re not old enough to drive, vote, drink, own a gun, or buy cigarettes, but you’re mature enough to make life-altering, irreversible decisions. The teachers won’t even tell your “parents or guardians” that you’re “transitioning” because they’re “Christian nationalists” or “genocidal Jews”, and, anyway, they just don’t get it.


We all know intuitively, deep in our hearts, that this is wrong— “two plus two equals four,” right? —but it’s all around us, with flags, books, movies, TV shows, attire, leadership presentations, recruiting slogans—and suddenly, we can’t talk to our children and grandchildren anymore. They think we are bigots, racists, conspiracy theorists, old fools. We feel like aliens—👽 from outer space, not from across the Southern border—in our own country. “Up is down, war is peace; freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” We are atoms, untethered, disoriented, and disconnected. From Animal Farm once again: “And, thus, they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.”


There is a good reason why Herbert Marcuse, the intellectual father of American Marxism, Critical Theory, Women’s Liberation Movement, and LGBT, titled his bestselling 1955 book (republished in 1974) Eros and Civilization. To quote an anonymous Amazon reviewer: “I get his point; we need to work less and act out our true sexual desires. SEX IS WAY BETTER UNDER SOCIALISM”.


Dr. Lani Kass served in the Department of Defense for 30 years. She was the first woman Professor of Military Strategy and Operations at the National War College, where she educated 20 generations of US and Allied senior-most military and national security leaders. She served as Special Assistant to the United States Air Force’s Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After retiring from government service in Oct 2011, she served ten years as Senior Vice President and Corporate Strategic Advisor at CACI International Inc., a $6B Fortune 100 company. The views are her own.


Contact: cell – 703-850-7676

Dr. Lani Kass is Senior Vice President and Corporate Strategic Advisor for CACI International Inc., a $5B Fortune 1000 Information Solutions and Services company. Dr. Kass leads corporate efforts to advance CACI’s presence and stature in the U.S. national security sector and enhance and expand key client relationships. Working directly for the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the Board, she participates in developing corporate strategy and positioning CACI for growth. In this role, she brings skills and expertise honed during 29 years of distinguished federal service at the highest levels. Before joining CACI in January 2012, Dr. Kass served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Chairman. She was responsible for the high-level assessments and analyses necessary to render the best military advice and execute the integrated strategies, programs, and plans essential to America’s security. Her foresight, expertise, and cross-cultural, multi-lingual skills were highly valued, particularly during international crises. Her contributions were recognized by both the Secretary of Defense and CJCS. She received the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award – the highest award granted to U.S. Government civilian employees. Dr. Kass also served as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force (CSAF), Senior Mentor to USAF Project CHECKMATE, and Director of the Cyber Task Force. She developed the intellectual concepts that led to establishing the U.S. Cyber Command and continues to underpin U.S. cyber strategy. The Air Force Secretary and CSAF awarded her the prestigious Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service. Dr. Kass’ other career highlights include appointment as the first woman Professor of Military Strategy and Operations at the National War College (NWC), National Defense University. During her 20 years of service at NWC, Dr. Kass educated several generations of senior-most strategic leaders. Her former students serve as service chiefs, combatant commanders, defense chiefs in allied capitals, ambassadors, agency directors, and senior intelligence officers. Dr. Kass has authored two books and 30 scholarly articles. She developed, directed, and taught graduate-level courses on various national security subjects. She received a doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Kaplan School of Economics and Political Science and Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. 2014, Dr. Kass was elected to the Board of Women in Aerospace. In 2016, she was sworn in as an Air University Board of Visitors’ Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Subcommittee member. In 2019, Dr Kass was elected to join the prestigious Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs (WIFA) and the Board of Directors of Women in Defense. Dr. Kass is a highly sought-after speaker in Russia, the Middle East, China, terrorism/counterterrorism, cyber, national security policy, and military strategy.

 MG Paul Vallely is Chairman of Stand Up America US Foundation

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