Former Space Force LtCol Matthew Lohmeier recently spoke at a talk on X about his thoughts regarding the Capitol Hill hearing he testified at, “The Risks of Progressive Ideologies in the U.S. Military”.
Listen to it here or read the transcript below:
If you missed our space last night, here is a clip of @matthewlohmeier talking about the hearing and takeaways from that. Thank you Matt for sharing your time with us.
— Jordan Karr (@JordanLkarr) January 13, 2024
LtCol Matthew Lohmeier
“I was asked several weeks ago to testify at the National Defense Subcommittee hearing that is part of the House Oversight Committee. That committee is chaired by Representative Glenn Grothman from Wisconsin, and, of course, you might be aware that Representative Jim Comer chairs the House Oversight Committee, and Mike Waltz is also a part of the Oversight Committee.
Neither Jim Comer nor Mike Waltz are necessarily required or obligated, as far as I understand it, to be in that subcommittee hearing, but both of them came.
I just wanted to share briefly with the group some dynamics that I didn’t expect and share a few observations. And then I’m happy to answer questions.
I noticed that when the hearing started, I’m sure it’s kind of standard, you had the chairman of the committee, Glenn Grothman, and the ranking member, Robert Garcia, Democrat from California, was in his seat. The committee chairman was in his seat, and literally no more than a handful of other congressmen in the chairs already, a few from the Republican side, one or two from the Democrat side.
I’m not throwing spears just yet, but just to say I was unprepared for that, I figured that some would choose to bow out altogether, like Congresswoman Cori Bush from Missouri, and that, in fact, turned out to be true. She never showed.
But what kind of surprised me is that for a hearing that lasted quite a long time–it was expected to be 90 minutes but it was well over 2 hours.
We had both Republicans and Democrats, predominantly Democrats, show up just a few minutes before they were expecting to give their monologue and maybe ask a few questions, and then they got right back up and left the hearing.
The takeaway for me was that there’s a genuine lack of interest, especially from Democrats, to even confront this issue and hear feedback from those who have been called as witnesses for these hearings.
That was evident also when the ranking member, Robert Garcia, closed his testimony at the very end of this hearing by saying, hey, you’ve already lost this battle. He said, I can’t believe we’re even taking time, wasting time to discuss what you allege is wokism in the military, what you allege is a culture war.
There’s this animus from the Left that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
But here’s an important point that I wanted to make that is, I hope, useful in that it gives us an understanding into their strategy.
I watched what happened both before the hearing, outside of that hearing room where I met General Seidule and his son that he brought to the hearing. I saw him go back into a separate private room with Democrats who would be a part of the hearing, and their staffers, I presume, to discuss a game plan.
Based on how the Democrats approached this entire hearing, if you listened to the entire hearing, one thing that you would have noticed was that they seemed to be deliberately focused on the decades past and not on the present moment.
That was evident in some of the lines of questioning. It was evident in their talking points, and it was evident in what General Seidule was prepared to talk about. He talked about his lengthy 30 plus year military career, and he talked about policies like equal opportunity. They talked about integration of races in the military during the Truman administration.
And it’s like, no one is here to argue these things! No one is here to talk about those progressive policies from early in the Cold War. But that’s what they focused on.
Because, and this is the important point, I get the sense that they recognized ahead of time that if they had remotely competent witnesses show up to attack wokism, to attack Critical Race Theory, to attack DEI initiatives and their consequences, they wouldn’t have much of an argument to make.
So what they wanted to do is shame the witnesses into looking like we were there to fight against women in the military or fight against gays being in the military at all. And of course, that isn’t the case. That was one observation I’ve had as I’ve reflected on what I felt and what I saw in the room.
The other point I want to make, I guess I’ve already hinted at, is I was rather dismayed. I mean, I already don’t like Leftist, Leftism, Progressivism, Neomarxism–pick your label.
But to have the tangible feeling to sit in the room and to feel their disgust for conservatism, Republicans in the room, and to hear them thank General Seidule for his service, but deliberately ignore Will Thibeau and I in their gratitude, I mean, it shows that they’ve got a really vitriolic animosity for our values, our worldview.
Again, I know that’s not surprising to anyone, but I saw firsthand that they are determined to wage a battle and they defend it like it’s a religious worldview.
It shouldn’t surprise you also that the same animus is felt and apparent in some of the Republican members–and in my view, rightly so.
That’s some overall highlights for me, takeaways. I’ll tell you, some of the clips that Jordan has posted on her Twitter feed have received a lot of attention. So thank you for that, both on a personal note as well as just overall for getting the messaging of that hearing out.
The House Oversight Committee has been doing a good job putting out clips from the hearing as well. They’ve gotten a lot of views. I mean, Donald Trump Jr. was saying, hey, everyone needs to watch this stuff.
So we’ve had million plus or millions of views in the last 24 hours on specific issues in that hearing. And I’m under no illusion of thinking that’s going to stay at the forefront of anyone’s minds. I know that there’s all sorts of other news going on that’s equally as important.
So I think that’s probably all I should say. I’m happy to entertain any questions.
Matt, I have a question for you. You mentioned the animosity from the representatives. Did you have any feedback from General Seidule afterward? I mean, did he seem to understand what you were saying?
One of the favorite clips of mine that I posted was where you just completely wrecked whatever he said about how he had never seen CRT at West Point or in his 30 year career. You were able to reference the fact that even in your book, you researched that policy proposal from West Point graduates that quoted him throughout their proposal.
So I’m just curious. I saw his face when you said that. I think a lot of other people saw his face in his reaction to that. What was the feedback or if he even had any after the hearing? Did he say anything to you? Because I think most of us understand that the representatives are not going to meet us halfway. But it is very disconcerting when service members like a general who served 30 years, when they are also projecting that animosity towards our values.
LtCol Matthew Lohmeier
Good question. So I’ll share a couple of thoughts. I went out of the hearing room into the hallway and happened to run into General Seidule before the hearing began and met him and his Army veteran son and we had a cordial exchange. I knew the kind of preparation and research I had done on him and what I was hoping to get to say.
So because he seemed like a kindly fellow and I really don’t have—I mean, I have animosity, I have a really strong disliking and frankly, a hatred for evil, but I just have a tender spot for humans. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy even before the hearing started because I was going to attempt to land some blows. I let him know that in advance.
I said, it’s apparent to me, having read your written submission of your testimony, that you and I have a different view on things, and I’m going to make that plain today, but I don’t mean any hard feelings by it, but this needs to be argued. He shook my hand and said, thanks, good to meet you. He didn’t appear nervous whatsoever until–and the reason I point that out is he didn’t appear nervous initially.
But I was sitting in the middle of that table, as you’re aware, and when I got about 30 to 45 seconds into my written oral statement that I wanted to make up front, I noticed he was visibly shaky.
He was picking up his papers and his hands were shaking because I think for the first time it dawned on him that the issues that Will and I were there to directly confront and attack, he didn’t have a good response for.
I think he knew, hey, me and my fellow colleagues up there on the stand have a game plan, but boy, if we go down this road, we don’t really have a good leg to stand on.
And he surely wouldn’t have anticipated that that 40-page policy proposal from West Point graduates was going to come up.
This is kind of a fun anecdote that this group will appreciate. I had spent a little bit of time every day this week preparing for that testimony, trying to turn over new rocks and learn a little bit here and there about things I hadn’t considered for a very long time.
And like a lightning bolt out of a clear sky, I had the thought to go look in my book at that 40-page policy proposal.
Because I saw in my book–it’s only like three pages in my book–that I had quoted a few of these activists. What they were advocating for sounded an awful lot like what General Seidule had been asked to do by Lloyd Austin as recently as a year and a half ago.
So I decided I’d pull up that 40-page proposal and go spend a little bit of time studying it. And I was so glad I did. So I consider that a direct gift from heaven.
I had no thought to look at that, and it just literally was a thought that was planted as clear as day in my mind. So I think we had some help to communicate, some ideas.
My wife was prayerful, others were prayerful. She laughed and teased me after the testimony was over because we have a very conservative family that doesn’t like vulgarity. And I use the word bullshit and something else in the hearing, and my wife said, I was praying for you, that you’d be led by God in what you said, and as soon as I heard you say bullshit, I wondered, God, did you plant that in his mouth as well?
But all of that to say we were prayerful. We took this very seriously.
The feedback I’ve received by private email and through my website and through direct messaging, I’ve been pleased that people who genuinely care about their country and who are patriots in every positive sense of that term and who love God and who desire to see an apolitical military and save their country, they’ve been reaching out, saying, hey, we love you. Thank you. God bless. That means the world to me.
And I’ve got some hate messaging as well, which I don’t really care about very much. So thanks for that question, Jordan.
Thank you Colonel Lohmeier, God bless you for what you did. I thought you owned that General to your left. I know that’s not a good operative word, but field grade officer versus general officer, definitely you took the W on that one. But my question is, the documents. I can’t remember the congresswoman’s name that was questioning you during the clips that I think were shared, probably more than others, but she wanted to take a lot of the documents that you provided, enter them into the records. But she also said she would follow up. Do you know if there’s any plan, tangible, objective plan, for not only the West Point report that you talked about, but also some of the other documents that you had?
LtCol Matthew Lohmeier
My understanding was, and I think they said it at the beginning of the hearing, but I don’t remember the time frame, whether it was 48 hours or 72 hours or two weeks, whatever it was, that members and their staff had a certain time to reach back out to witnesses to bug them for things. I figure probably at the beginning of the next week is when I’m going to look for some follow up.
I did have a follow up call with the chairman of the committee, Glenn Grossman. He wanted to talk for a while after the hearing and share some personal anecdotes and also ask for more clarification on some points that I shared. So that follow up has happened.
I believe it’s possible that it was Congresswoman Virginia Fox that said perhaps she was going to want to enter some poll data that was compiled by the Heritage Foundation with Congressman Mike Waltz. These folks already have all of this stuff, and I’ll happily submit it again so it can be entered as a part of the record for that hearing. But I’m going to give them the opportunity to reach out so that if there’s multiple items that they’ve requested, I’ll just send everything at once.
I do want to make one more point, though, just for this group. We’ve got warfighters on this call. We’ve got people who are champions. How do I put it? Because I knew that the hearing went fairly well for us, I was asked a number of times how you feel you “owned” the general, is what you just shared.
I’ll tell you, I had really mixed feelings about it. That’s just like the real human element of me.
This is war. This is really a war. It’s not turned violent, but there’s a war that’s ongoing. There’s a lot of rhetoric that’s employed. There’s animosity, there’s hatred.
I feel like I dealt a few blows to a few people who I don’t hate. But it’s easy in civil wars to hate people. In fact, that’s exactly what it turns into.
I left the room feeling like I had done what I was supposed to do and also that I didn’t regret anything.
And that men and women had to go home to their families and live with some wounds for a little while, and that bothered me.
I even reached out to a veteran, in fact, who I respect greatly, and said, yeah, I feel a little bit bad about this. He tried to console me and said, hey, this is necessary, whether any of us like doing some of this or not. Sometimes it’s fun and sometimes we really like it.
That was a reflection of just the nature of conflict, and it gets a lot worse than this. So it’s kind of good to get used to the feeling.
But I do have to run now, and I’m going to jump off and go take a Newsmax call. Will and I are going to join a panel and talk about this very hearing. Thanks for letting me join.