In my previous post honoring our fallen heroes I included the Epitaph for the Unknown Soldier by W. H. Auden (emphasis mine):
To save your world you asked this man to die:
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
I return to Auden epitaph because less than 24 hours later MSNBC's Chris Hayes gives us a perfect example of what Auden was talking about:
Thinking today and observing Memorial Day, that'll be happening tomorrow. Just talked with Lt. Col. Steve Burke [sic, actually Beck], who was a casualty officer with the Marines and had to tell people [inaudible]. Um, I, I, ah, back sorry, um, I think it's interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words "heroes." Um, and, ah, ah, why do I feel so comfortable [sic] about the word "hero"? I feel comfortable, ah, uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don't want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that's fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I'm wrong about that.
I had to count to 10 20 10,000 before I sat down to write this post. However, as sat counting, with the intense fury of a thousand suns, I was able to reflect and look at this from Hayes' point of view. Can I blame him for this stupidity? Where would this kind of thinking come from? His parents? In part surely - but there must be more to it than that. A quick peek at his Wikipedia page goes a long way to help understand his politics:
He went to college at Brown University but it gets better (Source Wikipedia):
From 2006 through 2007, Hayes was a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, and a Contributing Writer for The Nation. On November 1, 2007, The Nation named him its Washington, D.C., Editor, succeeding David Corn. He is also currently a Senior Editor at In These Times, a liberal monthly magazine based in Chicago. He has written extensively on issues central to the liberal community, including what ails the Democratic Party in the post-9/11 era and how the labor movement is changing. Hayes is also a regular contributor to the Chicago Reader, an independent weekly newspaper, where he covers local and national politics.
As an added bonus he is married to Kate A. Shaw, Associate Counsel for President Barack Obama.
So rather than go off half cocked and fillet the guy with a profanity laced blog I came to the conclusion that we should pity this nut rather than hate him. Because if you stop and think about it, this guy never really had a chance. You see in his insulated world there is no real evil, just different 'morally equivalent' opinions and he was taught that every opinion has merit regardless of just how blatantly stupid it truly is. So this guy is just a disgusting by-product of the culture that pervades academia in America.
Further, this is an acute difference that helps define both conservatives and liberals.
For example, Conservatives believe that those who died for our freedom are not just heroes that we honor on Memorial Day but every single day. In our prayers every night, we are thankful that an all-volunteer military has devoted their lives to our freedom and the freedom of our children. Conservatives understand that there IS evil in the world and that America and the ideals that America stands for are worth the ultimate sacrifice. Conservatives know the only thing standing between the America we cherish and the tyranny that permeates most of world is our men and women in uniform.
Liberals, on the other hand, take our men and women in uniform for granted. To them the military is a necessary evil, not to be talked about in positive ways or in mixed company - the military is just a last resort as it were. In the minds of the liberal, America's enemies are just misunderstood people with the same basic knowledge of what is right and wrong. They say things like - "If we can just talk with them - understand their culture - empathize with them…." In other words as Obama likes to say use Smart Power.
Hayes is extremely lucky that our military cannot pick and choose whom they protect. But then our folks that wear the uniform wouldn't have it any other way. These people volunteer for the armed services knowing that protecting the free speech of tools like Hayes are just part of what they signed up for.