Contributor Post Created with Sketch. We’re Veterans, Not Victims

 

Most of America is celebrating Veterans Day. But several progressives can’t join the rest of us in giving a simple “thank you” to the millions of men and women who guaranteed our freedoms.

For example, Salon.com featured an article titled “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy”:

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.

Written by a walking mullet named David Masciotra, this must have killed at his community college’s open mic night in 1987.

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Give David a keytar and he’s the opening act for Dave Koz and Candy Dulfer at Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino. But his style isn’t the only embarrassment. After being roundly mocked for his article on Twitter, he fought back for awhile, then cancelled his account, then came back, then cancelled it again.

At least Masciotra’s open hatred of the military is honest in its own way. It’s no surprise that a guy too cowardly to keep a social media account open isn’t the biggest fan of this nation’s warrior class. More insidious is the left’s infantilization of our armed forces.

Democrats learned the hard way that burning flags and spitting on returning soldiers only enrages voters. The Left is still trying to undo the political damage from the early 1970s. They still aren’t fans of the military, but know that they have to look like they are. So you get backhanded compliments like this:

The former replacement co-host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” couldn’t just wish veterans like me a good day. He had to tack on a political sermonette denouncing cruel America while flaunting his superior morality. But Fugelsang clumsily reveals the rhetorical trick today’s Democrats use with the military.

The only way a progressive can praise a veteran is to treat him as a victim.

Fist pumping as female pilots drop ordinance on medieval misogynists is déclassé. Whooping as the Blue Angels roar over a football stadium is too jingoistic. Sure, the SEALs just ventilated Osama bin Laden’s head, but can’t we talk about root causes?

Try as they might, liberals can’t simply praise a patriotic group of honor-bound Americans who secure our constitutional freedoms through violence or the threat thereof. To view our fighting men and women as anything but moral monsters, the Left needs to grant them victimhood. The homeless man who can’t find work, the injured amputee whose nation abandoned him, the woman who got PTSD in a greedy war for oil.

Look, progressives: you don’t need to look up to veterans; we fought for a free country after all. But we’ll be damned if you look down on us. We aren’t pathetic victims requiring pity from soft-headed, smooth-handed naifs sipping artisanal kombucha on the coasts. If you feel the need to say “Happy Veterans Day, but…” just keep it to yourself.

There are 15 comments.

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  1. John Davey Member
    John Davey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is SOP for the left. It draws the like-minded to their cause where they baste in their viscous outrage and moral superiority stew- that it offends their opponents is just a bonus. There is no losing for complainers.

    And, as the son of a WWII Marine rifleman, and later an Air Force flyer, I’ll offer my humble thanks and gratitude to all who have served.

    • #1
    • November 11, 2014, at 4:22 PM PST
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  2. Profile Photo Member

    Very true… I retired from the Air Force hate when the left does this to us!

    • #2
    • November 11, 2014, at 5:29 PM PST
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  3. Guruforhire Member

    Yeah, its hard to take things like the concert for valor seriously, when I have no real reason to believe that they have any regard for the actual person who resides in the uniform, if not hold generalized contempt.

    I don’t care for totems, nor do I like being treated like one. Nor do I like empty soulless statements made in the name of social acceptability. I kinda get where Jesus was coming from on the whole pharisee thing.

    My wife, bless her heart, asked me what people could due to turn veterans day into a day for something other than a mattress sale, and celebrate veterans every day. My only real thoughts are, try to actually like the people in the uniform more than once a year.

    But lower to middle class white dudes who do a healthy amount of the uniform stuffing, are too poor to have “white/male privilege” and not ethic enough to get any benefits from not having “privilege.” They generally believe in old time values, fail to live up to them, and generally go about their day being people. But once a year, they get celebrated for not dying, and being a faceless part of a machine that everybody would be happier not really thinking about. Every other day of the year they are just the dirt floor of american society that nobody cares about.

    Anyway. Happy veterans day! Here is some metal (clean version, i encourage everyone to listen to the explicit version for proper emotive impact):

    But then I am fueled by a burning core of wrath, and I spend way to much time talking politics on the interwebs which really is poison for the soul. So some of my best army buddies are liberals, so I don’t like making it partisan.

    • #3
    • November 11, 2014, at 5:37 PM PST
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  4. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” 

    But it isn’t childish, isn’t it, to call pro-athletes heros? Movie stars? Pop Musicians?

    Oh, and Jon, you bubblehead, thanks for your service. –Squidlet.

    • #4
    • November 11, 2014, at 6:05 PM PST
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  5. The Question Inactive

    I first became aware of this trope when I was watching Star Trek the Next Generation with my dad. There was an episode where the Enterprise had taken into custody a violent alien soldier, and it was later revealed that the soldier was a victim of his government that had trained him to be a killing machine and then didn’t know what to do with him after. That was in the 80s, and was a pretty thinly disguised reference to Vietnam veterans (which my dad had to explain to me). This tactic has been used by the left for awhile.

    Veterans have been betrayed by the VA, but portraying them as helpless victims is an attempt by the left to bring them into the “coalition of the oppressed.”

    • #5
    • November 11, 2014, at 6:09 PM PST
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  6. Profile Photo Member

    Well said. Salon writer needs to focus on root causes, not the soldiers. Anyway, the american military got the Internet started, no? So I guess he can blame his Twitter pain on the soldiers too.

    • #6
    • November 11, 2014, at 7:28 PM PST
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  7. Profile Photo Member

    Also, no matter your opinion, what a time to pick to troll soldier heroes. Certainly makes the lefties look as if they are mean and spiteful.

    • #7
    • November 11, 2014, at 7:34 PM PST
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  8. Palaeologus Inactive

    Thanks Jon. Nice post.

    Eff ’em if they can’t be gracious.

    • #8
    • November 11, 2014, at 7:52 PM PST
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  9. Pete EE Member

    This is my complaint about high-school Remembrance Day ceremonies. (on the school day before Nov 11, which is a holiday). Inevitably soldiers are cast as naive victims sent ignorantly off to war. It is gracious of the veterans present that they never complain. I keep lobbying the drama teacher to do a dramatic reading of Tommy.

    • #9
    • November 11, 2014, at 7:54 PM PST
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  10. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Just so. We served because it was an honor, not to be honored.

    • #10
    • November 11, 2014, at 9:06 PM PST
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  11. Benjamin Glaser Inactive

    I am a Marine vet and the the only thing worse than this particular liberal trope is the Veteran who goes around using his “veteran” status as a giant sign on his forehead that he uses to make himself feel superior to his neighbor.

    • #11
    • November 11, 2014, at 11:28 PM PST
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  12. Man With the Axe Member

    Being informed in the first paragraphs of David Masciotra’s article that soldiers are not heroes, I had to read further to find out who the real heroes are. I was not disappointed:

    Wars that are not heroic have no real heroes, except for the people who oppose those wars. Far from being the heroes of recent wars, American troops are among their victims. No rational person can blame the soldier, the Marine, the airman, or the Navy man for the stupid and destructive foreign policy of the U.S. government, but calling them “heroes,” and settling for nothing less, makes honest and critical conversations about American foreign policy less likely to happen.

    So, the real heroes are those, like David Masciotra, who oppose America’s stupid wars. Now, that’s the kind of hero we could use more of: a keyboard hero, an occupy hero, an MSNBC hero.

    • #12
    • November 12, 2014, at 4:33 AM PST
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  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What does everyone think about using the word “hero” for everyone who has ever served? I think the word should apply to those who have gone above and beyond what is expected of them, the people who have demonstrated extraordinary bravery. To apply the word to everyone who has ever put on a uniform kind of diminishes the difference between the guy who burned to death while saving his whole platoon and the guy who has never been within 100 miles of a combat zone, doesn’t it? I’m not saying that they don’t all deserve our respect, but calling everyone a hero seems a little “participation trophy” to me.

    • #13
    • November 12, 2014, at 7:39 AM PST
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  14. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @Pete EE – “Inevitably soldiers are cast as naive victims sent ignorantly off to war.”

    True and this is my primary complaint against the book, Born of the 4th of July, which is just this sentiment writ large over 225 pages.

    Can’t stand either.

    • #14
    • November 12, 2014, at 9:00 AM PST
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  15. Douglas Inactive

    And to rub salt into the wound, Springsteen and Dave Grohl team up to mock the crowd at the Veterans Day concert by playing antiwar songs (and nasty ones, like Fortunate Son). I don’t think this is being tone deaf. I think this is direct mockery and trolling. “Concert for the Dupes, errr, Troops? Suuuuuuure I’ll do it…”.

    • #15
    • November 12, 2014, at 12:31 PM PST
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