The liberal rag Salon had a piece yesterday just in time for Veterans Day and the 239th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps that insults veterans, the military, and patriotic Americans everywhere. The article, by David Masciotra, is titled “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy.” The opening paragraphs provide the general drift:
Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.
It has become impossible to go a week without reading a story about police brutality, abuse of power and misuse of authority. Michael Brown’s murder represents the tip of a body pile, and in just the past month, several videos have emerged of police assaulting people, including pregnant women, for reasons justifiable only to the insane.
The article is so over-the-top in so many regards that it’s hard to take seriously. To call Michael Brown’s death a “murder” in advance of a grand jury finding is irresponsible at best. And throwing around words like totalitarianism to refer to the military and law enforcement at a time when the nation’s president is as close to a wannabe dictator as any we’ve ever had is an unfunny joke.
But the blame for this ugly screed belongs as much to Salon as it does to the author. Not only was the website content to publish it. Its editors also promoted the piece on Twitter:
Stop worshiping men in uniform: “It’s been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom.” http://t.co/JDA9DcjLp2
— Salon.com (@Salon) November 9, 2014
As for the denial that the men and women in uniform who keep us safe are heroic, one person on Twitter noted this irony:
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) November 9, 2014
(h/t Weasel Zippers)
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