26

Making Mock of Uniforms

 Honor

 

 

A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.

John Stuart Mill

 

 

Just in time for Veterans Day!  David Masciotra at Salon has a piece that perfectly encapsulates the contempt and hate many on the left have for those who serve in our military.  The opening paragraph is a treasure trove of the pre-occupations of leftists in this country:

 

 

Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.

 

1.  Anti-white racism?  Check.

2.  Contempt for American culture?  Check.

3.  Hatred of patriotism?  Check.

4.  Paranoia about authoritarianism and/or totalitarianism for those who do not share the political views of the left?  Check.

Left wingers in this country once upon a time did not have such unbridled contempt for military service.  During WW2 all of FDR’s sons went into combat.  Paul Douglas, a University of Chicago Professor who went on after the War to be a liberal Democrat senator from Illinois, enlisted as a private in the Marines at age 50, and earned two Purple Hearts in hellish combat in the Pacific in WW2 that left him with a disabled left arm, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The change in the attitude towards the military came about due to the Cold War where Communists were the enemy, the left always having a large faction that could not regard Communists as enemies but rather perceived them as allies, at least of a sort.  This inability to support one’s nation against foreign adversaries has become the norm on the left and Masciotra’s article is simply a very honest expression of that hostility to all things military, and those who serve in the military, which arises from opposition to the role the United States plays in the world.

Those who serve in our military have no greater say about our international policies than the rest of us.  They are left to carry out the frequently grim business of fighting when the civilian leadership decides that war is necessary.  Simple fairness should enable even critics of a particular war to honor those who serve our nation in such a conflict at risk of their lives.  However, simple fairness and the left in this country have not been on speaking terms for a very, very long time.

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

26 Comments

  1. http://davidmasciotra.com/biography/

    He’s an admirer of Jesse Jackson, Cornell West, and Noam Chomsky, in other words he fancies the ersatz and the sinister. He’s employed as a columnist by the Indianapolis Star. The college he attended has hired this 30 year old man with no scholarly chops to teach. He seems a fine example of the articulateness that Th. Sowell’s has remarked the Anointed confuse with intelligence.

  2. Ehhhh I just read his article….and it seems WAY more complicated than that. He is not saying “all soldiers/police suck”. He is not even saying patriotism is bad per se. Its just more “being a patriot and being willing to fight and die for freedom does not mean we never question US policy nor assume that every single US solider or cop is a saint”. Its about nuance, is what he is saying.

    I do take some issue with what he said about Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if we take the position that the wars had nothing to do with our freedom (which I don’t buy) fighting for Afghani and Iraqi freedom was and is worthwhile for its own sake. But the specific problems and abuses he mentioned were correct.

  3. Also, I think anti-white racism is a stretch. To me, it reads more like:

    Years of subtle messages from movies, tv shows, politicians, media, and the stories we tell ourselves, combined perhaps with evolutionary instincts to favor those who look like us (white people), have conditioned us to experience biochemical reactions in our brains that make seeing a white man in uniform and with a gun less threatening at some level than someone who is not white.

  4. Nah, his comment is simply reflecting the casual anti-white racism in fashion currently on the left. Additionally there is no nuance in what he wrote. The stub under the title says it all: “It’s been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom. Forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end.” The last justified war he can see is WW2. He then accuses the nation of imposing forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism which is an “Alice through the looking glass” departure from the reality in this country, especially for most denizens of the left in this nation, always ready to spit on the troops and ever ready to engage in hatriotism for this country.

  5. I’m a white man of liberal leanings on certain issues, and I certainty don’t feel racist towards myself :). All joking aside, white male liberals seem to do just fine in liberal circles, so they are hardly an excluded group. Somewhat related, I must ask…..do you deny the argument I describe earlier, about the prevalence of, for lack of a better term, subconscious racism?

    Also, in terms of subtly, he does say that there are heroes (Or at least good guys. I disagree with his characterizations of all soldiers being victims, but that’s a far cry from calling them all brutes). When it comes to war, he seems to belong to that school that says we should only fight when our freedom and safety is more obviously at risk than it has seemed in the post World War 2 conflicts. I do disagree with his assessment, but credit must be given where it is due.

  6. I am also not sure what you mean by his statement about pressuring people not to question to military/US government policy being “an ‘Alice through the looking glass’ departure from the reality in this country”. Even if liberals have cultural space to question these things, frankly, it seems like many people immediately jump down their throats for doing so. I think hes referring to the tenancy to call the questioners weak, which does really exist.

  7. “All joking aside, white male liberals seem to do just fine in liberal circles, so they are hardly an excluded group.”
    Of course not. Liberals are always good about excluding themselves from their fulminations against white people. That is why Ted Kennedy was able to be a champion of busing while making certain his kids were educated at elite private schools. When it comes to race and the left in this country, the hypocrisy is a given.

    “prevalence of, for lack of a better term, subconscious racism?”

    Racism, by definition, has to be a conscious act. Accusing others of unconscious anything is a good way of making an argument without the need of providing proof to sustain it.

    “When it comes to war, he seems to belong to that school that says we should only fight when our freedom and safety is more obviously at risk than it has seemed in the post World War 2 conflicts.”

    That cannot be the argument he is making or else he would have supported our efforts post 9-11, and the efforts of such entities as Strategic Air Command during the Cold War that ensured that a Soviet nuclear first strike never was possible.

  8. “Even if liberals have cultural space to question these things, frankly, it seems like many people immediately jump down their throats for doing so.”

    That is called freedom of speech. As a pro-lifer I am accustomed to having pro-aborts chime in against my arguments. I understand that most contemporary liberals tend to be very intolerant of people who hold views that differ from theirs.

    Additionally, liberals, when it comes to their anti-military stance embraced by the majority of them, have academia and the entertainment industry on their side. Consider how many money losing anti-Iraq war pictures were made by Hollywood. The idea that there is a compulsory patriotism and worship of troops stance in this country could only be argued by someone disconnected from the actual history of this nation over the past five decades.

  9. Without being fully aware of what they are doing, white people step to the other side of the street, clutch their bags, etc when confronted particularity with non-white youths. I could relate at least two stories that I know of regarding African American gentlemen dressed in suits who were treated less equally than white individuals standing next to them. Being scared of things non white youths do, even when white youths do the same things? Police officers automatically being suspicious? The welfare queen myth, when instances of fraud are actually very rare, (AND the whole system is so messed up it actually punishes people for saving money or making just a tiny bit above certain thresholds)? These things are real.

  10. “Without being fully aware of what they are doing, white people step to the other side of the street, clutch their bags, etc when confronted particularity with non-white youths.”

    “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved…. After all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating.”

    Jesse Jackson, November 29, 1993

  11. And yet, adults and youths who try and “play the game”, experience this treatment as well. Whats more, there maybe a perception regarding youth, but 9 out of 10 times you can walk past and you would be fine. And I emphasize, a white kid in a hoddie won’t turn heads.

    We do make snap decisions without thinking about whether there is a real threat or we simply have been conditioned to perceive a threat. All we who consider ourselves “liberal” on this issue simply hold that we need to be aware of these actions and where they come from, and force ourselves to not follow (or at least question) our instincts.

  12. “And yet, adults and youths who try and “play the game”, experience this treatment as well.”

    Hardly. Getting back to the military, who is going to feel threatened by a black 20 year old male who is walking down the street in Marine dress blues? Of course this is all a red herring and has nothing to do with the anti-military screed of the Salon writer. He threw in his anti-white throw away line because it is an all purpose no proof argument when leftists are decrying the broader American culture.

  13. “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.”

    Was in the North Woods since Wednesday. Tramped out yesterday, Sunday.

    We sometimes meet other hunters, and less often “sneaker people” hikers, who we’ve seen exercise their divine powers to trash hunters tents and supplies b/c they regard it a mortal sin to hunt Bambi’s great-great-great-grandsons.

    We met two younger men who came out of their deer camp and of course we compared notes. When I suggested eating MRE’s rather than carrying heavier loads of real food, one man said he had had enougn MRE in the USMC. Then, he told me of his couisn (who should have been there on that hunt) was in KIA with the 101st and didn’t make it back to hunt deer ever again. That came up when I told him my son is in the 101.

    Simply stated, there is an insufficient supply of ammunition in comparison to the over-supply of liberals.

    watcher7689: Dulce Africanus inexpertis.

  14. In Europe, both the Left and the Right have traditionally regarded universal conscription as the counterpart to universal suffrage. It was Léon Blum, after all, who declared that “no citizen should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility, of defending the nation under arms” and always insisted on an army of “citizens in uniform.”
    It is worth recalling Rousseau’s warning, “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country and representatives to sell it.”
    “Those who serve in our military have no greater say about our international policies than the rest of us.” In fact, they have rather less. The army, with its tradition of not getting involved in politics, is not known as « La grand muette » [The big mute] for nothing.

  15. Before returning to the article at hand, I wish to throw out a couple of more points. First, regarding what you said about the Marine, you’d be surprised.
    Secondly, I guarantee a relatively quick search will show numerous examples of the scenarios I described.

    But on to the article. We both agree that saying there were no justified conflicts between WW2 and now is a gross exaggeration. But hatred of our country and armed forces is a lot different then naivete. And, I must reiterate, he did say individuals Were heroes. Acknowledging both is just common sense. And many liberals would disagree with his no just war since WW2 theory anyway. The whole charge of disloyalty and hatred seems both wrong and dismissive of any criticisms that might be fair.

  16. In Europe, both the Left and the Right have traditionally regarded universal conscription as the counterpart to universal suffrage.

    Bully for them. Absent a general mobilization, it was only in effect in this country from March 1948 to January 1973, and at times (e.g. the year my father enlisted), draft calls were minimal. Most in the age group subject preferred to enlist rather than wait for a draft notice (something true of nearly all of our Presidential candidates born between 1926 and 1954 who served, to take one set of examples).

  17. Its just more “being a patriot and being willing to fight and die for freedom does not mean we never question US policy nor assume that every single US solider or cop is a saint”.

    That is called a “strawman.” It mischaraterizes the other side to make the side he’s defending seem more reasonable. It works, which is why it’s used so much, but it’s still a fallacy which needs to be called out.

    Without being fully aware of what they are doing, white people step to the other side of the street, clutch their bags, etc when confronted particularity with non-white youths.
    A favorite actor of mine reinforced that when you search for racism, you will find it.
    Avery Brooks told a story about how a woman didn’t enter an elevator, alone, with him.
    He assumed it was because he’s black.
    Not because he’s a guy with an epic scowl that’s over six foot tall, and it’s stupid to get in an elevator alone with a guy. (Which he should know, he’s got kids.)
    Likewise, an honest reporter who is black noticed that people weren’t sitting next to his son on the bus unless there was no option.
    He got one of his son’s friends (who isn’t) to come and sit on the bus, and discovered that nobody sits next to a teenage boy on the bus unless there’s no other option.
    People avoid sitting near anybody at all if there’s an option, barring special situations.

  18. People will never know how many wars and crimes are prevented by the Armed Forces and by the peace keeping officers, who are the police, by their very presence and by their very willingness to lay down their lives for their neighbor, us.
    .
    The liberals, in their arrogance, refuse to be grateful for the freedom they take for granted and the blood they refuse to acknowledge, spilled for their right to criticise and condemn.
    .
    How really sad for the liberals never to have experienced love of country.

  19. Foxfier: I am studying both your and Donald McClarey’s comments.
    .
    “People avoid sitting near anybody at all if there’s an option, barring special situations.”
    .
    Excellent take down. It is called “personal space” and is included in body language and is a right of privacy. It is what our men and women in uniform fight to protect: our freedom.

  20. Wall Street Journal letters to editor printed years ago:

    “Where do we find these young men? They grow here, somehow unchanged by the skeptics and cynics all around them. In an instant they make decisions of such gravity that all else seems irrelevant and minimized. How do we deserve these young men? We support them. We honor them. We remember their sacrifice. We win this war.”
    Jim Gribbel
    Freeport, Maine
    .

    “Our society worships so many false heroes, including our politicians, who get where they are by convincing us that all they care about is us, when what they really care about is themselves. Comparing our politicians and our military personnel is comparing the most selfish to the most selfless.

    .

    “It is beyond sad and tragic that, in the main, our media fail to tell the story of the real heroes in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world, who have kept us safe from various evils risking all and, sometimes, giving their lives.
    .

    “God bless the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and shame on those who don’t know who the real heroes are.”
    John L. Sorg
    McCordsville, Ind.

  21. FOxtIErR: The stories you reported don’t disprove my main point, but rather exist alongside them. Yes people might be uncomfortable in the situations described, yet what I described happens as well and is fairly well documented.

    I also would argue that a strawman Argument was used about the author when he was said to hate both America and the military despite saying specifically he thought individual soldiers were heroic.

    Mary: I am a liberal AND patriotic. Whats more There are countless liberals who serve. Finally, those who critique would argue trying to make sure something is the best it,can be is a high form of love.

  22. I also would argue that a strawman Argument was used about the author when he was said to hate both America and the military despite saying specifically he thought individual soldiers were heroic.

    Finding individuals heroic does not rule out hating the US and the military, and in fact from what I’ve seen it’s pretty common, both sincerely and as a rhetorical defense– a variation on the “no true scotsman” but in reverse. All good traits are handed to individuals, all bad to the targeted group(s).
    So that is not a strawman, nor a mischaracterization.

    Yes people might be uncomfortable in the situations described, yet what I described happens as well and is fairly well documented.

    Correction: the accusation is leveled extremely often. Support for the issue being racial, rather than something much more basic and obvious, is rather lacking. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence against racism being involved, people still insist that they can read the hearts of those accused.

  23. I apologize for the misspelling. Computer not being helpful.

    Considering the reasons and ways my name is usually misspelled, it’s a delight to run into someone who just goes “oops.” 🙂

  24. Watcher 7689, are you a liberal and patriotic enough to protect the newly begotten sovereign person, our constitutional posterity from being destroyed in the womb? If you are not, you and I do not speak the same language, even your criticisms do not uplift.

  25. It was Léon Blum, after all, who declared that “no citizen should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility, of defending the nation under arms”…
    –Michael Paterson-Seymour

    MSP, you left out the part in which Léon Blum declared that females aren’t citizens.
    Ha ha.

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