Last September, the world came to know West Point graduate Spenser Rapone thanks to a photograph of his graduation ceremony in which the young Marxist flashed a message hiding underneath his cap: “Communism will win.” This week, though, Communism apparently hit a stumbling block, at least as it pertains to its spread throughout the U.S. armed forces. The Army gave Rapone an “other than honorable” discharge from the military, setting him free to bring his anti-American views to the private civilian sector.
Rapone’s photograph came to light last year after being published on Law & Crime and several other media outlets; the idea of a West Point graduate secretly harboring an ideology the U.S. has spent the better part of a century battling was horrific enough to make the picture an instant viral sensation. And subsequent interviews with the former second lieutenant made it clear that Rapone was not merely displaying the message as a form of childish rebellion; he was a true believer in Communist ideology.
In a follow-up post to the “Communism will win” photo, Rapone published another picture – this one of him wearing a Che Guevara shirt underneath his uniform. “In case there was any lingering doubt,” he wrote, “hasta la victoria siempre.”
In a statement to American Military News, Army spokesperson Valerie Mongello went out of her way to note that Rapone was discharged for making a political statement while in uniform, but not necessarily for the content of that statement.
“Both the Department of Defense and the Army have long-standing policies encouraging soldiers to participate in the democratic process,” Mongello said. “Among other activities, Soldiers are encouraged to vote in elections and express their personal opinions on public issues. However, the Army has strict rules regarding the wear and appearance of Army uniforms.”
Be that as it may, we don’t quite see the benefit of having avowed enemies of U.S. capitalism serving in our armed forces. We’re sure Rapone isn’t the only service member with confused ideas about the evils of the American Empire, but he was certainly the only one stupid enough to publicize them on social media. For that alone, perhaps, he should be deemed a hazard to himself and others, meaning, natch, that the Army made the right call here. We spent too long fighting Commies around the world to have them openly serving in our own military.