|What the shit?
||[Oct. 23rd, 2012|03:30 pm]
I saw a couple getting out of a car that had not one, but two brands of Support Our Troops magnets on their bumper. I'd long been curious on a number of points. I found my question to them hard to articulate, so it came out perhaps a bit overly brief:
What's the alternative?
Being spit upon. Being told after you return from war that you're worth less than dirt. Strong feelings there. He immediately jumped to the (correct) conclusion that I'd never served, though I suspect he'd have been surprised to discover my mother is a veteran and that I'm passingly aware of the risks taken up in the name of our country and its people by our servicefolk. I say this because he seemed surprised how little of these factors needed explained, and perhaps a little at a loss for words not directly related to my ignorance. In purely practical terms I know little from experience, but come on, don't we all have a friend or relative who has served or is actively serving in the military? Haven't we all heard stories about common duties taking on serious risks, or where even doing everything right still meant somebody died? It's a hell of a job! Hardly matters where you're stationed, whether any fighting is involved, etc. You're automatically a military target (USS Cole), you must assume you'll be going into situations where you are on the front line (anybody who joined for college money before September 11th, 2001), and there's a good chance even in peacetime you're stationed near or serving fairly dangerous equipment and chemicals. Accidents happen. Anybody who serves in the military, at any time, is putting his or her life on the line, and for surprisingly little return.
This was a strange point the guy made. When he spoke of feelings, I brought up medical care, and he responded, "That's not why they join up!"
What on earth does that mean?
Getting him to admit it doesn't matter their motive for joining, they deserve the best medical care they can get, was like pulling teeth.
So, I offered, they'd avoid voting for a candidate who would undermine veteran's care/benefits.
"Well, that depends on their stance on other things," said his wife, with this strained look on her face.
Okay, sure, not a one-issue voter, but that look. Was this a frequent point of contention? What the hell is going on here? Two stickers that say "support our troops," and all I can get out of this couple is feelings. Anything practical I brought up struck them as missing the point. It was all about whether or not we're nice to them.
Yes, of course we should be nice to them, but this should impact our damn voting for goodness sakes, and not just in who offers the nicest platitudes. I'm not saying we never encounter angry Vietnam throwback twits who deride military personnel for doing their duty, but I can't honestly think of any time I heard the term 'babykiller' when it wasn't out of the mouth of some angry reactionary putting up a strawman argument. I once saw the argument in different words, and that person was overwhelmingly shouted down for bringing up such a stereotype of American soldiers.
These people aren't living in the real world. They're imagining constant slights against their dear soldier brethren without realizing or participating in the sacrifices we all must make to see to the health and well-being of those who served.