Fred Thompson’s Gratuitous Violence

Last night I sat in stupefied wonder at the grotesquely detailed account which actor Fred Thompson gave of John McCain’s war service.  “Is Fred Thompson going to say anything relevant?” I asked a neocon.  I was ignored, of course.

After telling us all about all of McCain’s tortures and injuries, down to every last scar, Thompson finally admitted that being a POW doesn’t qualify someone to be president.  Thank you.  So why did you ramble on like this?   Thompson said that it illustrates a desirable character in a candidate for office.

Allow me to venture to disagree.  I think the real purpose of this rhetoric is to make Statism look heroic, and it’s aim is to make war-fighting appear to be the highest good that one can perform for his society.  Nevermind providing medical care, or a much needed product on the free market.  No.  Join the Navy,  become a sycophant, and you, too, will become a great American.  It’s also worth pointing out that it would seem as though a POW background is only relevant for a politician who plans to ask today’s healthy young men to eschew happy, productive lives in order to become a shill for the State.

Contrast all this with Dr. Ron Paul, who hosted the Rally for the Republic yesterday in Minneapolis, the event which kicked off the ongoing Campaign for Liberty.  Toward the end of his speech, he lamented the “universal soldier,” those masses of men who allowed themselves to be dragged into foreign lands to fight unnecessary wars.  Paul admits that he too was the universal solider, almost in a way that it sounds as though he wishes he could go back to that time and take a stand against the collectivism known as the draft.

Ron Paul said that what we need in contrast to the universal soldier is the universal champion of liberty.  Count me in.

I’m only thirty years old; I do not think it is beyond the pale for the government to try to conscript me into military service.  In such a case, I will gladly be hauled off to jail instead.

Unless I’ve already moved to Europe or New Zealand.

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2 Responses

  1. I really enjoy your other blog.
    I am unsubscribing from the RSS feed for this one however, as I strongly disagree with your political views. Granted, statism is not heroic; but belittling the desire of brave volunteers to “place themselves between their loved ones and the war’s desolation” by describing them as “sycophants” is a dishonest argument. While you may not agree that engaging the Islamofascists in battle in Iraq is preventing them from attacking us here, the volunteer soldiers and sailors and airmen do believe it, and are willing to risk their lives to eliminate the threat to this country. Calling them “masses of men who allowed themselves to be dragged into foreign lands to fight unnecessary wars” is denigrating their intelligence, their integrity, and their grasp of geopolitics. Unless you believe you are smarter and more geopolitically savvy than they are due to your advanced degree in Music and your extensive experience on the world stage as an organist?
    I am absolutely anti-conscription. I think the draft is nothing but slavery, as are confiscatory income taxes. I would also be willing to face jail to avoid being drafted (unless I had already enlisted because the cause was worth fighting for).
    However, I believe an all volunteer force allows each warrior to make their own choices about how best to serve God and their country, and we should honor those who, by serving in the military, choose to risk their lives for what they believe in just as much as we honor the great models of civil disobedience like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Because they are fighting for the same thing.
    God bless you. I look forward to reading your other blog.

  2. I’m so sorry that you’re unwilling to read diverse opinions on such crucial matters. I’m also sorry that you’re unable to respond without trying to get personal.

    “Describing them as “sycophants” is a dishonest argument.”

    What else do you call someone who cannot in any way question his orders, and who, if he were to decide to object to carrying out an immoral mission, would face serious retribution?

    “The volunteer soldiers and sailors and airmen do believe it”

    I’ve heard from some that don’t. And why did anti-war Ron Paul get more money from active duty military than anyone else?

    “Calling them “masses of men who allowed themselves to be dragged into foreign lands to fight unnecessary wars” is denigrating their intelligence, their integrity, and their grasp of geopolitics.”

    Ask them about some of the more unpopular details that got us into those conflicts. See how well they know the insidious details on how we got into these messes. Ask them what it was exactly about their mission that preserved our freedom. Take WW I for instance. That war was about to end in a draw, until we got involved and set the stage for WW II. Nothing we did in WW I did anything to spread “freedom” or “peace” anywhere.

    “However, I believe an all volunteer force allows each warrior to make their own choices about how best to serve God and their country, and we should honor those who, by serving in the military, choose to risk their lives for what they believe in just as much as we honor the great models of civil disobedience like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.”

    I think it’s time we stop mindlessly fawning over people every time they join the military. It is a quasi-religious devotion that most people have for this, and I contend that this is dangerous, because it keeps us from examining whether or not the military is actually accomplishing good things. This is not to say that I would spit on returning service men like the dirty hippies did in the 60’s, but fawning is not the only alternative to this. I happen to treat servicemen like everyone else; I refuse to treat them as celebrities.

    As far as our current crisis goes, it strikes me that we’re trying to use political means to solve a religious problem. I think Joseph Ratzinger’s speech at Regensburg was much more on target.

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