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Sunday, May 21, 2006

 

Decency and Respect

Tacitus has presented me with an interesting challenge. Can I say anything about this post that will be funnier than the post itself?

Not bloody likely, so I'll just give you the gist of it. It seems that the authoritarian Right is contemptible - among other things - for its "tinpot nationalists" and "clerical ministers." And the authoritarian Left is contemptible, among other things, for its "true believers in mass action from union and activist ranks," and "adoring fetishists of the United States military."

Are you following me so far? Good.

Tacitus says, "I take second place to no one in my admiration for the American armed forces." The Left, by contrast, has "led the charge against the intrinsic moral value of the American soldier." And not only that:
[T]he death of the public valor of soldiering can be laid directly at the feet of the ideologues who disparaged the things — God, country, ideals, comrades — for which soldiering is done. It can be laid at the feet of the left.
As opposed to the "tinpot nationalists" and "clerical ministers" of the Right, who have no influence whatsoever in American discourse, and even if they did, would rather drink from the dick of a goat than cynically exploit the "public valor of soldiering" as a shield against criticism.

It's not just that us goldurn lie-bruls hate what's good about the military, of course. We also love what's bad about it:
[W]hat they love in the American military is precisely that which departs from the best of American life and heritage. They love the levelling, the oppression, and the infantile cosseting of grown adults. They love the very things about the American military that it fights, suffers, and dies to protect Americans from.
You heard him right: the Left "loves" the military because, in certain essential aspects, it's a microcosm of the enervated, cardboard-grey nanny state we all lust after.
[I]t’s profoundly revealing of the leftist mindset. Rhodes’ trope demands a levelling, a making-equal on a relative scale, that as easily demands a lowering of the high as a raising of the low. In the military, as we’ve seen, we have the former.
Damn straight. Whether you're a millionaire, a world-famous brain surgeon, or a member of the Bush family, you will be cut down to size when you enter the military, just like those trees in that kickass Rush song (you know...the ones that were chopped down by social workers and fags who didn't, like, understand them).

You can work as hard as Ragged Dick. You can fight as bravely as Audie Murphy. You can follow orders as assiduously as Jeff Gannon in a White House bedroom. In the end, it will avail you not one whit, because in the military, "the cosseting of the 'free' beats out the challenge of the self-made." Wherever you begin in the military, that's where you'll end up.

I'm joking, of course. After all, Tacitus did say "making-equal on a relative scale." Meaning, I suppose, that colonels are forced to occupy one level, and privates another. Or something.

So, how do soldiers bear conditions in this Streisandian cacotopia? Well, for one thing,
[M]ost members of the armed forces these days bear them....because there is an implicit trust, not always justified, that the authorities within the military will act in a just and moderate manner.
There's no word on what happens if that "implicit trust" turns out not to be justified. Tacitus notes that "the soldier is denied free speech; he is subjected to “planning” in the Hayekian sense"; obviously, then, he or she is at a disadvantage when it comes to speaking out on policy matters. And folks on the left can't speak out, because they - as everyone knows - hate the military and America and heroism and all that's true, honorable, and decent.

So who does that leave? The Right, of course: The sole credible arbiters of "justified" and "civil" and "patriotic" speech. That's why it raised no eyebrows when the Right said that Clinton's military adventures comprised a snare and a delusion that'd kill American kids for no good reason. There was no talk about anyone on the Right "hating the military" in those days, because the only people who can hate the military are, by definition, Leftists. Which is why, when people on the left express concern for the lives of military men and women, Tacitus can blithely ask questions like these:
Have they discovered the value of patriotism? Do they suddenly see a virtue in armed service?
Nothing like that, friend. We've simply got a raging collective stiffy for the hive-mind uniformity of the workers' paradise.

I know Tacitus' argument sounds insulting. To some, it may even sound dehumanizing and demagogic. But please, try to take it in the constructive spirit in which he offers it. Remember: Decency and respect benefit us all.

Oddly enough, Tacitus notes that under Bush, "it is Republicans who have botched war policy." That sounds like a pretty serious matter, so it's really too bad that the Left's sole interest in American soldiers is as exemplars of utopian socialist gemütlichkeit. It looks like the problem of Republican misrule and corruption will have to be solved by Republican politicians and think-tank experts. Let's hope they're up to the job.

Comments:
me-¡OWWW!

That has to steeng.

Tactless seems to have the same failures as all the rest of hees eelk.

He provides no evidence to back up hees claims, and hees arguments stop just short of contradicting themselves.

That he ees now doing thees under the rubric of a false centrism must be particular galling to at least some of hees own "true believers" who weesh he would stop making thees miniscule poo-poohing noises, and come back to the kool-aid™.

so.
 
Good lord in heaven... he can't be serious about that, can he? And what a proper, pompous ass he is with his comments.
 
Good lord in heaven... he can't be serious about that, can he? And what a proper, pompous ass he is with his comments.

Yeah, he's dead serious. Read the whole thing.

His genius here - and I use the word in the most ironic sense possible - is that he's come up with an argument so unbelievably crazy and cartoonish that it almost renders critique impossible. You might as well argue with people who believe in Zeta Reticulans.

As for the quality of his writing...you'll notice that I didn't even bother. Calling Tacitus a lousy writer is like calling the Marianas Trench an irrigation ditch.
 
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