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Michigan is Bipartisan when it comes to militarism and capitalism

January 4, 2018

It is easy to present Democrats and Republicans as polar opposites, always waring with each other. However, the Blue State/Red State dichotomy is often an illusion framed around certain social issues.

When it comes to US foreign policy and the defense of capitalism, then we can easily see bipartisan consensus.  For most of US history, especially once wars are started, it is rare to find members of Congress who take a stand against US militarism. This bipartisan consensus is often framed as “support for the troops,” but a closer look will demonstrate that both the Republicans and Democrats are deeply committed to US wars abroad, which leads to a consensus on the Defense budget, which leads to bringing money to states that have a stake in weapons contracts or domestic military bases.

This bipartisan consensus was on display just before the holidays, when Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, along with the entire Michigan Congressional Delegation, was lobbying for Fort Custer Training Center to become a missile-defense site.

Fort Custer is located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, which would mean that as a missile defense site, it would be near two major metropolitan areas.

The Michigan Senators and the entire Congressional Delegation from Michigan submitted a letter to Lieutenant General Samuel A. Greaves, who is the director of the Missile Defense Agency, stating: 

“North Korea poses an increasingly substantial threat to our homeland, culminating in the recent launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that flew higher and longer than previous launches,” wrote the Senators and Representatives. “Fort Custer benefits from excellent existing infrastructure, including efficient access to two major interstate highways and a nearby 10,000-foot runway. The fields at Fort Custer are shovel ready and it is our understanding the CIS can be constructed at the lowest cost with the least environmental impact.”

This bipartisan consensus demonstrates the commitment that Republicans and Democrats have to US militarism – because the US will not tolerate most countries having nuclear capability; and it demonstrates a bipartisan commitment to capitalism – in that more taxpayer funds will come to Michigan for this missile defense program, which translates into more money for private weapons contractors, along with capital that will be injected into the communities in and around Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

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