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.