Stanley McChrystal, an infamous top U.S. commander who served in Afghanistan, has penned an op-ed in the New York Times asking for President Trump to rethink his plans to defund PBS. Trump’s proposed budget calls to cut spending for programs like PBS in an order to afford the military spending hikes that he hopes will begin later this year. In the piece, the 34-year war veteran writes about how public broadcasting costs peanuts in relation to what it means to America. He argues that its funding shouldn’t be cut in an attempt to push more money into military defense:
“It’s a small public investment that pays huge dividends for American. And it shouldn’t be pitted against spending more on improving our military. That’s a false choice.”
McChrystal, whose life is the basis for the new Brad Pitt-starring Netflix movie, War Machine, is fully aware that it may seem strange for a man of his stature to be siding with PBS over increased funds for the armed forces. He says his rationale is that smart men and women begin as smart boys and girls, and PBS (and programs like it) are a jumping-off point for educating Americans who go on to serve their country:
“This might seem like an unlikely position for me, a 34-year combat veteran. But it’s a view that has been shaped by my career leading brave men and women who thrive and win when they are both strong and smart. My experience has taught me that education, trusted institutions, and civil discourse are the lifeblood of a great nation.
“Public broadcasting plays a special role with young children. According to the Pew Research Center, rising numbers of American children live with one parent or with two parents who both work.”
Back in February, Trump’s budget plan angered many fans of PBS along with those who support many other public services like National Endowment for the Arts and AmeriCorps. The nip-and-tuck of programs throughout the budget are being being made for a few Trump-promoted increases elsewhere, including an additional by $54 billion for the U.S. military next fiscal year.
(Via New York Times)