Nowhere is the ugliness of politics on better display during election season than in our Facebook newsfeeds, that virtual arena where once every four years keyboard warriors duke it out with insults, accusations, hashtags, and empty promises of moving to Canada if their candidate doesn’t get elected. If you’re a veteran, your newsfeed is that multiplied by a thousand. Vets love arguing politics and hate pulling punches, and the result is total warfare. Thus, in the spirit of American democracy, Task & Purpose has produced this totally offensive guide to the different types of veterans who’ve traded in their M4s for keyboards to clog up your feed with really strong opinions on how our country should be run. Enjoy.
1. The Trump Supporter
Armed with the Second Amendment and a bellyful of deer meat, the Trump Supporter specializes in poorly written diatribes aimed at anyone who isn’t hell bent on “Making America Great Again.” His mortal enemies include, but are not limited to, pussies, pansies, losers, refugees, illegal aliens, and, of course, Crooked Hillary. If anything offends you, or if you don’t have a green card, you’re the problem, and the solution is to either deport your ass back to the Islamic State or give you a healthy dose of THE TRUTH. And the truth is that America has gone soft. The Trump Supporter knows because when he came back from Afghanistan everyone was sporting man-buns and talking about microaggressions. The Trump Supporter simply cannot stand for this. It’s his patriotic duty. The only way to make America hard again: Build a wall, nuke the Middle East, and replace “political correctness” with saying and doing whatever the fuck you want — because freedom! And, also, FUCK YOU.
2. The Hillary Supporter
The veteran Hillary Supporters are far less common than their Trump-loving rivals, but no less boisterous in their claim that they are, in fact, the ones most qualified to speak for veterans when it comes to politics. Sure, the Hillary Supporter was anti-war before he went to war (except Libya — that was justified), but it doesn’t matter because he enlisted “to make a difference.” Now he suffers from PTSD (well, diagnosis pending), because war is terrible and, yes, he DEFINITELY heard a mortar once. Maybe twice. And while he’d “rather not talk about” what he did in Iraq (hang out at Green Beans), he’ll argue that the military would be much more effective if everyone in the infantry was at least just a little bit bi-curious. These opinions make the Hillary Supporter a “cool vet” among his fellow feminists at the liberal arts college where he’s pursuing an MFA in creative writing so he can pen his debut war novel, “Tears Over Baghdad.”
3. The Gary Johnson Supporter
The veteran Gary Johnson Supporter is the ultimate paradox. Not only is she deeply suspicious of the government, she’s fiercely opposed to military intervention abroad. But she served in the Army during a time of war. Why? Because she’d rather go to college on the GI Bill than enslave herself to The Man by taking out a federal student loan. She also wanted to hone her tactical skills for the day when the government, which she dutifully served as a cog in the American war machine, comes knocking on the door to take her precious guns. When she’s not busy talking your ear off about Ron Paul, or railing against the two-party system, or quoting “Atlas Shrugged,” or burying her own feces in a coffee can in the forest behind her house (“so the government can’t tax my goddamn poop”), the Gary Johnson supporter likes to spend her free time convincing herself that the NSA actually gives a shit about her lonely, inconsequential life in the backwoods of Vermont.
4. The Benghazi Guy
Just about everybody who’s ever served in the military was shaken by the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, and the scandal that followed, but none more than Benghazi Guy, who, as a private first class in the Army Reserves, is an expert on embassy security protocols and email servers. He’s read “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi” from cover to cover (both ways) and bawled his eyes out during the Michael Bay film, which he may or may not think is a documentary. When engaged in Facebook political debates with a Hillary supporter, his arch-nemesis, Benghazi Guy eats baby aspirin like candy to keep his heart from exploding with murderous rage. If it were up to him, #Killary wouldn’t just be jailed for her crimes against humanity. She’d be strung from a lamppost in Guantanamo Bay and waterboarded for eternity, because WAKE THE FUCK UP SHEEPLE.
5. The Bernie Bro
Remember that guy in your platoon who’d never shut up about how high he was going to get when he got out of the military? Well, he got high. And never stopped. Now, 5,000 bong rips and a few whip-its later, he’s a diehard Bernie Bro. And if there’s one thing Bernie Bros love more than smoking weed, it’s talking about revolution. That’s because, according to science, when the human brain is infused with just the right combination of barley, hops, THC, and Nag Champa, a person begins to envision an America where nobody is rich, and nobody is poor, and everyone gets to enjoy small batch IPAs and wear artisanal flip-flops. But such a society doesn’t just get handed to us on a silver platter. No. It must be fought for with protests, and weed, and internet memes, and more protests, and more weed — and, wait, Hillary got the nomination? Fuck it, brah. He’s voting for Trump.
6. The Conspiracy Man
Every election season, without fail, the crazies come out in droves. Late at night, while everyone else is fast asleep, they peck away at their filthy keyboards, drafting urgent diatribes about the Illuminati and how shape-shifting reptilians run the world from a network of underground bunkers. That’s one of the great things about Facebook: It lets you know who among your friends and family believes in crazy conspiracy theories. And while those theories are probably the result of smoking a bunch of meth and listening to Alex Jones, if they turn out to be true, it doesn’t matter which candidate you vote for because all of them were born inside the nucleus of a star and came to Earth to probe human anuses and drink sweet mammalian blood. How else do you explain JFK’s assassination? Or Roswell? Or the moon landing? Or 9/11? Or Trump’s tiny hands and chameleon-like ability to turn orange?
Original Task & Purpose illustrations by Matt Battaglia.