Following the January 6th demonstration at the Capitol in 2021, the leftists smelled blood in the water when it was revealed that there were veterans amongst those who took the unscheduled tour. This fits right along with their imaginary thesis that the military is full of racists and extremists.
Now a RAND Corporation study that was released on May 23rd has shown that the Veteran population is less likely to support extremist groups than civilians. According to the report, there were “considerably fewer” extremists expressing support for Antifa, and “much lower support” behind white supremacy ideas.
It also clarifies that “Veterans also expressed relatively less support for the Proud Boys (4.2 percent versus 9 percent) and the QAnon conspiracy theory (13.5 percent versus 17 percent). About 5 percent of the participants expressed support for Black nationalist groups.”
When looked at by branch, the Marine Corps showed the highest levels of Antifa, Proud Boys, and black nationalist participation. They were also the most in favor of violence inside politics as well as supporting the Great Replacement theory. Ironically enough those who supported extremist groups also backed political violence.
The lead author of the study and senior behavioral scientist with RAND Todd C. Helmus reported findings that echo much of what you see from Veterans at their clubs and at the VA. “We found no evidence to support the notion that the veteran community, as a whole, exhibits higher rates of support for violent extremist groups or extremist beliefs than the American public. However, our findings do suggest work still may be needed to make sure veterans are not susceptible to being recruited by those with extremist ideologies.”
Helmus also gave credence to the idea that the study had an improper bias that Helmus had to ignore to do his job. “Given the anecdotal information about extremist group recruitment preferences and their active targeting of veterans, we would have assumed that these reported prevalence rates would be higher…[O]ur findings do suggest work still may be needed to make sure veterans are not susceptible to being recruited by those with extremist ideologies.”
Given the pro-America sentiment that tends to commonly be associated with the military and the anti-changes to America sentiment that often accompanies these extremist groups, his bias wasn’t surprising. Many who serve are more than willing to lay down their lives to defend what they believe in, and these kinds of groups often end up on that trajectory in the long run.
Coauthor of the study Ryan Andrew Brown was quick to point out that even in small concentrations, with the unique and harmful capabilities these people can have from their training, they can do a lot with a very small number of people. This kind of add-on isn’t surprising.
What is surprising is seeing the RAND Corporation admitting that they see the problems with assuming veterans are all extremists. Much like the left’s thought that all those who are pro-Second Amendment are racist or violent, their idea that all the veterans would be that way too is nothing more than poor ideas and horrible dreams. The fact that they came into the study with these biases is horrible enough, but admitting to it is even worse.
The left needs to start seeing our veterans as the good humans that they are. Nasty ideals left over from Vietnam persist, and with the latest groups of leftists, they are unwilling to imagine anything other than the worst in people who don’t look or act like themselves. As these veterans go, they are looking to grab and hold on to their piece of peace and normalcy in their lives.
Extremist groups like Antifa and the Proud Boys aren’t that piece of peace for many Veterans, rather they are sources of increased stress and resentment through their horrific leadership and militant-like structure. Who would want to be back in the military but now not getting paid and being told even more extreme ideas than they heard when they served?