One of my biggest fears is that we have become a nation of cowards. It seems as though we are too afraid to fight a war, at least if it involves getting our hands dirty. It’s okay for us to bomb innocent women and children, it’s okay to launch missiles at Iraq if the President has impeachment hearings against him, this we know. What we also know is that if this country is attacked, and we actually have to put troops on the ground and lose some lives in order to keep the battleground off of American soil, then it’s okay to talk about impeaching the President. Seems very backwards to me.
We have people that defend those that are willing to kill other Americans, even willing to put those murderers back on the streets, people like Tookie Williams who murdered a man, his wife, and two children. It’s as though they think murdering is cool, manly, thuggish, but at the same time aren’t cool enough, man enough, thug enough to go fight in a real war. Is it cowardly to do a drive by shooting, yet won’t go to Iraq where they shoot back? We have people that will defend Tookie Williams, but criticize those who are fighting for this nation. Once again, it seems very backwards to me.
But as bad as that seems, it doesn’t disgust me as much as those who rallied around the President, jumped up and down screaming that we need to go to war, proudly wearing T-shirts that said ‘these colors don’t run‘ beneath the American flag. Don’t be one of the war’s biggest supporter in the beginning only to run and hide when the going gets tough. That to me, epitomizes cowardice. If you backed the war then, why not back it now? Do you just stick your finger in the air and judge which way the political winds are blowing? Are you so willing and quick to send others to war, but the minute the winds of politics changes course, you’re too cowardly too stand by what you demanded to begin with?
Are the lives of our soldiers so cheap, so meaningless, so useless, that they have become disposable heroes? Has our nation become so fickle that we want to celebrate the soldier one day, but then turn around and let them bleed while one political party handcuffs their mission in hopes of regaining the Whitehouse? Did you turn against the war, allowing foreign dirt to soak up the blood of those we sent on a mission, only to end with no purpose? Only to have us go back at some future date at the expense of a new generation of soldiers, and to only to end with the same result?
Have we become so fearful of death that we’ve become addicted to passing law after law of self righteous, self serving, so called life saving measures? Has our lives become so dear, so precious, so sweet, that it is easily purchased with the chains of slavery?
Maybe we’ve become so arrogant that we don’t think we have to someday die. That we can beat death. Or have we become so arrogant that we believe we can suffer a loss in Iraq, but that action won’t encourage our enemies to go to war with us in the future? Wouldn’t Hugo only be encouraged with a loss in Iraq? Have we become so arrogant that despite a loss against terrorism in Iraq, we think that we could prevent them from attacking this nation, or that they would not be more than happy to move the battlefield to the streets of America? About the only upcoming event that the bravery of the people actually scares me is the Louisiana Governor’s race this year, but if the people of Louisiana choose to re-elected Kathleen Blanco, that wouldn’t be bravery, that would be stupidity.
It’s long overdue that men in our nation start acting like men. Being a metrosexual has become popular enough that I do believe if Gucci can come out with a line of man purses, they’d sell faster than ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘ DVD’s. Come to think of it, just about anything will outsell an Al Gore movie. It seems as if men in this nation are more willing to cry publicly a movie theater then they are willing to pay a price to better their lives. There is one bright spot, however. Everytime I see pictures of these war protests, it reminds me of Jurassic Park. I’m not making fun of our elderly people, mind you, but when I see these pictures, it almost always lacks youth. I see these people and I think how sad it must be to be in your fifties and sixties and still have absolutely no meaning in your life, that you have to grasp at your youth to relive the Vietnam era. A time when you think you actually accomplished something, when in reality, you sat around and partied while others died in your name. You didn’t do anything for the betterment of society then, your not doing anything now, and you haven’t done anything special in between.
I do understand why this is, you see, these people believed they were special. They were told how special they were all through their childhood. Everybody is told their special, but that doesn’t make it true. None of us are special, we’re unique, but we are not special. All of us have to pay a price if we want something in return. If we want to be treated with respect, we must first treat others with respect. If we want to be wealthy, we must earn it, not demand the government take from the wealthy and give to us. If we want peace, we must search for it within, not protest at some dope smoking rally. None of us are special.
I take that back, some of us are special, only certain people are. Al Gore is special, he can preach to the rest of us about our consumption, or the music we listen to, or about selling tobacco, but forbid him from living off of tobacco profits, release a propaganda film, or using 20 times the average household in electricity? Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro live high on the hog, while the people of their respective nations would feel lucky if they could smell pork for dinner. They too are exempt. They are special. In fact, political leaders are often special since the rules they pass onto the rest of us don’t apply to them. The amazing thing is that there will always be some sap, so blinded by politics, out there, that not only is willing to suffer in his own personal life, but will come to the defense of leaders who refuse to lead by example, that caused that suffering.
If our nation wants to continue to be the home of the brave, then more men need to start acting with courage. If we want to continue to be the land of liberty, then we must be willing to pay the price of freedom. There is a flip side, of course.
If you want to be a land of misery, all you need to do is nothing. If you want to create a despotic society, be blinded by your politics. If you want to be a coward, make your decisions based on what you think other people want you to say. Boys worry about being cool, men do what they must.