How can people as inherently stupid as conservatives be so successful at framing issues? They’re doing it again with the military.
Although we don’t see ourselves in this way, America is a militaristic society. We love our weapons, violent games, and we tend to place men and women in uniform on a very high pedestal. I think part of the psychology around this is the guilt we feel when we (our government) send young Americans off to die in foreign lands and the rest of us go on comfortably with our lives. In other words, there is no equivalent sacrifice at home (not since World War II, anyway).
So we shield our military from criticism in the protective bubble of hyper patriotism. The irony, of course, is that those who never set foot on a battlefield (Bush, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Cheney, et. al.) pound their war drums the loudest (uniform envy?).
The latest MoveOn.org/Limbaugh brouhaha allows the framers of the anti-Constitution the opportunity to cower the Dems with their overblown, hyperbolic indignation at anyone who would dare criticize a soldier. The frame? Critics of the military are unpatriotic and anti-American. For Limbaugh and others, this even extends to military personnel who don’t stand on the right side of the issue.
So, as usual, the cowardly Dems succumb to the bluster and condemn anyone who says bad things about our military leaders. Never mind if what they say is accurate or not.
I was in the Army for three years. Believe me, people in uniform can make mistakes. And they can also be disingenuous, hypocritical, deceptive, and conniving, just like the rest of us. Why should they be held above criticism? Westmorland and others lied to us about the situation in Vietnam. Patraeus and others have lied to us about the situation in Iraq. They should be held accountable.
There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy respect for Americans who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country. However, a uniform does not automatically transform a human being into a deity.
It seems that for Republicans and too many Democrats, it’s not okay to criticize a soldier, but it is okay to use that soldier as a pawn to obtain political advantage.