Newsweek Writer: Conservatives Are 'Mad as Hell' About the Commie Cadet

2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone at his graduation from the Military Academy (via Twitter)

Newsweek writer Michael Edison Hayden finds it amusing that “conservatives are mad as hell” that there is an open communist serving in the United States Army.


See how he frames the story?

Not “Americans,” or “the public,” or just “folks.”  Apparently only conservatives find the infiltration of subversive domestic enemies in the U.S. military to be problematic.

In case you missed it, a recent West Point graduate posted photos of himself on Twitter proudly posing with pro-communist messages hidden under his uniform and dress cap.

The Army Times reported: “The photos, posted by 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone, show the then-cadet posing with a Che Guevara t-shirt under his uniform and ‘communism will win’ written under his cap at his graduation from the academy in May.”

Rapone, who posts under the Twitter handle @punkproletarian, is also a huge antifa supporter.

He wrote a post at the website Medium condemning what he considers to be white supremacist and confederate symbols at the United States Military Academy, and urging action be taken to remove the “racist structures.”

“I and many others have confronted the administration of USMA regarding the Confederate iconography for a number of years now. They continue to drag their feet. Enough is enough. Whether you are a soldier, cadet, or civilian, the judgment of history is upon us. To cling to an imagined objectivity or neutrality is to remain a coward. It is high time we come together and dismantle these racist structures, both in word, but more importantly, in deed. As for how we might carry out our endeavors, I believe that another West Point graduate sets the proper example: William Tecumseh Sherman — relentless, persistent action in the pursuit of victory. Until our demands are met, we continue the long march.”


The USMA released the following statement Tuesday:

Rapone, it should be noted, took the following Oath of Office before becoming an officer.

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

As an avowed communist and antifa radical, Rapone should be considered a domestic enemy.

But Michael Edison Hayden of Newsweek apparently finds all of this to be mildly amusing and not the least bit concerning.

“Sounds like the kind of thing that would rile up the right, yes?” he wrote, unable to conceal his glee.

Hayden suggested that outrage over the commie cadet was bizarre and inappropriate and somehow the fault of Donald Trump.

Conservatives erupted with rage, and the dust up—which has forced West Point to issue a statement condemning the tweet, saying that “Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army”—helps to sum up just how polarized and surreal online politics have become in the age of President Donald Trump.

Hayden even went so far as to excuse it, saying, “Right-leaning social media users started pouring over Rapone’s social media history, looking for further evidence of his leftist politics, and much was found, including memes supporting revolutionary political theorists Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.”


He added helpfully, “It’s hardly uncommon to find tributes to Marx and Lenin in left-leaning social media circles, but to people on the other side of the debate, their faces often elicit shock.”

The Newsweek writer seemed to take delight in how the young revolutionary goaded the right by posting shocking pictures.

“Rapone, sensing the growing tension around the post, decided to poke the proverbial bear by tweeting a second picture from his graduation, one in which he’s opening his uniform to reveal the image of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara emblazoned on a T-shirt,” he wrote.

I wonder how amused Hayden would be if a Nazi skinhead Army officer was sharing pro-fascism attire and sentiments on social media. Would he defend that, I wonder? No, judging from his most recent articles (in which he covers far-right white supremacists almost exclusively), Hayden would be fairly “outraged,” to use his word.

But he does write approvingly of the support Rapone is getting from his comrades in the Democratic Socialists of America group DSA Veterans.

DSA has regional and issue-based subsections and chapters, and Rapone is a member of DSA’s Veterans Working Group, which “seeks to provide a conduit for veterans and adjacent communities to connect together to fight for our shared goals: enacting a democratic socialist society committed to racial, economic, social, environmental, gender, religious and disability rights justice,” according to a spokesperson.


See, I can and do condemn both sides — quite willingly. Obviously, Nazis, white supremacists, and commies are all evil. That, I believe, is still a fairly mainstream opinion.

You have to be pretty far left if you think that the only folks who care about an antifa-supporting, Che Guevara-loving troop being in the United States military are conservatives.



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