Okay Then

Let me make myself clear:

  1. I have no problem with the concept of patriotism, that is, love of one’s country. Am I a patriot? I guess not, but I’m certainly loyal to America. I don’t think, or at least don’t know, if we’re the absolute best nation in the world, but I’m glad I’m living here.
  2. Yes, if there were a draft, I’d fight for America. No, I do not intend to join the military as of now.
  3. WITH THAT SAID, I have nothing but the absolute highest respect and gratitude for our armed forces
  4. I also don’t think America is a church and I am not enamored with the liberal principles our country was founded upon.

None of those statements contradict any other statements.

 

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25 Responses to Okay Then

  1. Hrodgar says:

    Speaking as someone who is in the military (albeit only the Reserves, and I’ve never deployed) and comes from a military family (father, brother, all my uncles on both sides, multiple cousins), I really wouldn’t recommend joining the military right now unless there’s a draft or you’ve already made promises. There is a high risk of being expected to burn incense to various idols of liberalism, particularly under the current administration, though silence is generally let slide and actual assent not required. Also, there is a high risk of being involved in operations of at least somewhat questionable justice and highly questionable competence, exacerbated by the fact that our government doesn’t have the stomach for sticking around long enough to clean up our messes whether we were right to go in in the first place or not.

    Yeah, the pay’s not bad (if you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’ll likely take a pay cut, but otherwise), the benefits are great, the risk of death isn’t all that high all things considered, if you do die you get revered as a martyr for Jefferson’s patriot-fertilized “Tree of Liberty” along with great life insurance keeping your family covered, and military folks will generally have each others’ backs even, or sometimes especially, after they get out (which is nothing to sneeze at, especially these days), but the moral complications still make it a very dicey proposition so far as I can see.

  2. Hrodgar says:

    Reading that again, that whole ramble was a bit beside the point I intended to make. In a nutshell, you can love your people without joining the military, or even holding military folks in particularly high esteem. The pervasive civil cult of the patriot-martyrs is one of my pet peeves.

    • GK says:

      Malcolm:

      WITH THAT SAID, I have nothing but the absolute highest respect and gratitude for our armed forces

      Cult upon cult upon cult.

      Hrodgar:

      Reading that again, that whole ramble was a bit beside the point I intended to make. In a nutshell, you can love your people without joining the military, or even holding military folks in particularly high esteem. The pervasive civil cult of the patriot-martyrs is one of my pet peeves.

      But without that cult, what’d remain is the bare fact that many are going to die in unnecessary wars, contra the myth that they’re dying to ‘protect us’.

      • Yes, because “High respect and gratitude for warriors” is clearly synonymous with “cult”, he said sarcastically.

        This is basically the norm throughout all of human history.

      • GJ says:

        Yes, because “High respect and gratitude for warriors” is clearly synonymous with “cult”, he said sarcastically.

        You forgot to include ‘absolute’ and the suffix for ‘high’.

        This is basically the norm throughout all of human history.

        Idolatry is basically the norm throughout all of human history.

      • That’s awesome. It’s not idolatry.

      • GJ says:

        “nothing but the absolute highest respect and gratitude for our armed forces”

        “High respect and gratitude for warriors”

        ‘it’s normal. Almost everyone has done it!’

      • Hrodgar says:

        Eh, nothing wrong with respect and gratitude per se. When doing dangerous and dirty jobs, it’s nice to be appreciated. But the whole “x but y” formulation with x being some controversial statement and y is some protestation of “support for the Troop” sends up red flags. I don’t think virtue signalling is necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but the “virtue” being signaled by such phrasing is all too often a reverence for civil “holiness” akin to the reverence once commonly displayed to clergy or religious.

        Sorry if I jumped the gun in this particular case, but like I mentioned, something of a touchy subject with me, particularly around times like Memorial Day.

      • “X but Y” was said because I was trying to make the point that respecting and honoring the troops and believing that liberalism is flawed are not mutually exclusive concepts.

        I certainly don’t intend to imply that all soldiers are saints, or to equate military service with religious ordination.

      • GJ says:

        malcolmthecynic:

        (my apologies, the earlier comment didn’t come out as intended):

        “nothing but the absolute highest respect and gratitude for our armed forces”

        -weaponised nihilism on-
        “High respect and gratitude for warriors”

        -dial to 11-
        ‘it’s normal. Almost everyone has done it!’
        ———————–

        I certainly don’t intend to imply that all soldiers are saints, or to equate military service with religious ordination.

        You may not have intended it, but the words you used were precisely the type of speech typical of the reverencing that Hrodgar describes well. And you can certainly revere soldiers in general or the soldiering profession without going into lurching into false dichotomy with ‘all soldiers are saints’.

        That’s awesome. It’s not idolatry.

        Isn’t it?

        And you say you have the “absolute highest respect and gratitude for our armed forces”. Respect and gratitude for what?

      • Respect for fighting and being willing to fight in the name of the country, something I don’t intend to do unless drafted.

        You may not have intended it, but the words you used were precisely the type of speech typical of the reverencing that Hrodgar describes well.

        Unusual though it may be nowadays, but in my writing I said what I meant. If you want to unpack the grand meaning behind my writing, in this case at least, there isn’t any. Whether other people use this language to canonize the armed forces is, frankly, not my concern. I used the words to mean what the words mean; no more, no less. I respect the armed forces, because they’re willing to fight. I’m grateful to them, because they are part of a necessary – even if bloated, even if used in pointless wars – military force that I would not be a part of unless I had to be.

        That you apparently Very Angry at the armed forces because you disagree with some of the wars we’ve engaged in is not an argument that moves me.

      • GJ says:

        If you want to unpack the grand meaning behind my writing, in this case at least, there isn’t any. Whether other people use this language to canonize the armed forces is, frankly, not my concern. I used the words to mean what the words mean; no more, no less.

        I see the weaponised nihilism is fully deployed. Fortunately there are people to unpack it all (e.g. “absolute highest respect and gratitude” and the “x BUT y” ritual of virtue signalling, strawmen such as “I certainly don’t intend to imply that all soldiers are saints, or to equate military service with religious ordination”).

        That you apparently Very Angry at the armed forces because you disagree with some of the wars we’ve engaged in is not an argument that moves me.

        My dear fellow, I’m certainly not trying to move you with rational argument. That almost never works with people stuck in cults.

      • I see the weaponised nihilism is fully deployed.

        But I have not only posted my words, I’ve ALSO explained myself. That you don’t believe me really isn’t my problem.

        My dear fellow, I’m certainly not trying to move you with rational argument.

        I figured that out, but maybe I should make it clear: Inferring I’m an idiot/in a cult isn’t helping your case either. Are you going to play the “It’s for other people who may be reading here!” card next?

      • Crude says:

        My dear fellow, I’m certainly not trying to move you with rational argument.

        No kiddin’, bitch.

      • Here’s the situation here as I see it: You have a real stick in your craw about people who deify the armed forces. You are taking it out on me, because I used language often used by people who deify the armed forces.

        In point of fact, yes, I absolutely have more respect for men in the armed forces than the *average* normal person; they are doing necessary and many times dangerous and difficult things that I am not, and if you’re going to try and convince me next that the military actually isn’t necessary I’m just going to laugh and move on.

        I don’t really care if you don’t like a lot of the wars we’ve gotten involved in. That doesn’t affect any of the points I’ve made.

        If you think any of what I’ve written here means I’m actually in a cult that deifies soldiers, well, go to town. I’m quickly reaching the point where your clumsy attempts at rhetoric to accomplish some unspecified goal aren’t going to move me.

      • GJ says:

        malcolmthecynic:

        But I have not only posted my words, I’ve ALSO explained myself.

        You’ve certainly tried to explain it away.

        Inferring I’m an idiot/in a cult isn’t helping your case either.

        Your view is noted.

        Hope you (and Crude) have had an enjoyable holy Memorial Day.

      • Tell us where the soldier touched you, GJ.

      • Crude says:

        For the record, I’m only dimly aware of the context of this entire argument. I suspect this is related to an argument on another blog, which I haven’t visited.

        But I’m very aware that reading GJ’s responses is making ‘Who bitch this is!?’ go through my head.

        Perhaps I am in the grip of a cult which deifies not acting like a big ol’ bitch.

      • Crude says:

        Actually, to flesh out my own view a bit more:

        I respect the military as an institution, and I think the function of the military makes it uniquely prone to producing individuals and acts of valor. I don’t get into knee-jerk respect of absolutely everyone in the military as ‘this person is a hero, damnit’, because frankly every organization is filled with some shitters, and soldiers are no different. I believe they just promoted the first whatever-star openly gay general – I suspect, based on this administration, that I’d find them rotten.

        I also think that crying up a storm about people’s sometimes overdone reverence for their military is inane, especially when evidence indicates that no attempt at reasonable discourse was even attempted.

      • GJ says:

        Know that there’s nothing shameful about being caught in a cult if you get out, malcolm.

      • Thanks for the tip.

  3. GJ says:

    Malcolm:

    WITH THAT SAID, I have nothing but the absolute highest respect and gratitude for our armed forces

    Cult upon cult upon cult.

    Hrodgar:

    Reading that again, that whole ramble was a bit beside the point I intended to make. In a nutshell, you can love your people without joining the military, or even holding military folks in particularly high esteem. The pervasive civil cult of the patriot-martyrs is one of my pet peeves.

    But without that cult, what’d remain is the bare fact that many are going to die in unnecessary wars, contra the myth that they’re dying to ‘protect us’.

  4. Randy P. says:

    Is this whole argument just some guy trying to pull a gotcha on hyperbolic language? Take off the tinfoil hate, and stop telling others what they “really” think, dude.

  5. Zippy says:

    “Tinfoil hate” is an awesome felix typo.

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