I read this post at Wulfgar's site.

That led me to this article about Romney. He said his sons are "showing support" for our nation by helping him "get elected because they think [he'd] be a great president." I didn't hear the speech, but the article is written in a way that suggests that Romney equates his sons' working for his campaign with service in Iraq.

If that is what he said, it was a dumb thing to say. Sometimes, even if you can make a small point, you should shut up because the point is lost in translation. Of course there are many ways one can "serve" the country and of course every citizen should play an active role in the process so yes, you can make the argument that a citizen's active involvement is 'serving' our nation's democratic process. But why would you?

The article also raises other points, although old ones. Is everyone who chooses not to serve in the military frowned upon as not quite doing his or her part? Are we going to take the position that only former members of the military can serve as President during times of war? If so, we better re-write the Constitution NOW because we never know when war will strike. I'd hate to have a non-military president if we were attacked...we'd be defenseless!

But then I hit my back button and went back to Wulfgar's post. I followed a link out to this post. The headline of the post is: "Charging a man for murder in this place [Iraq] is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."

Think about that. Everyone at the Indy 500 would get a speeding ticket. Therefore, according to TBogg, every soldier's a murderer.

I thought Wulfgar's post, then, contained a strange juxtaposition. On the one hand, Romney roughly equates his sons' work on his campaign with military service: bad. On the other hand, TBogg equates all soldiers in Iraq with murderers: good. So...do we like the soldiers, or not?

I respect Wulfgar's anti-war position. I believe that it is well-intentioned and sincerely held. I enjoy his writing and his blog. His point about punishing murderers is well-taken.

The above juxtaposition, though, just seemed incongruous to me.


Wulfgar said...

Good call, on TBogg's title. I didn't consider the absolute analogy until you pointed it out.

One of the worst arguments I ever took part in was with my ex-father-in-law. I had the temerity to suggest that people who go to work everyday and dig ditches were just as important (and sometimes as heroic) to America as our soldiers. The hero-worship ran deep with that one (Army janitor for 2 years, he was.) Very ugly argument to be sure.

"Is everyone who chooses not to serve in the military frowned upon as not quite doing his or her part? "

Only if we elevate military service beyond it's stated role. What frightens me is that those who invariably do that are the ones who say that "we" hate the troops. Elevation by denigrating the other. That's not right. That's why I'm not a big fan of the "Chickenhawk" argument (as I've stated multiple times.) Military service is what it is, no more and no less. Citizenship is what it is, no more and no less. Despite the fantasies of those who've watched Starship Troopers a few too many times, those things aren't the same. Hence, my offense at Romney seeming to think that they are.

The juxtaposition that seems strange really is, in part because I didn't pay attention to the ramifications of TBogg's title. perhaps I should have been more clear. I really do believe that those who serve are very much the same as those who don't. They just have to react to different circumstances. The thing that ties us all together is the rule of law. And, in cases of willful murder, if we have one law for the military and another for everybody else, then the military really is above the rest of us. 'Don't know about anybody else, but I find that a little scary.

I can't speak for TBogg, but it really isn't about whether we like soldiers of not. We need them, regardless. The point at hand is whether they play on the same field that we do. Romney says that we play on their field (obviously idiotic on it's face). A certain someone that that post was directed at says that they're better, as long as they feed our illusion that soldiers in general are better. That's an interesting juxtaposition, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

As a Mitt Romney supporter I would like to offer this YouTube link for exact context:

Romney Applauds the Service, Dedication of U.S. Troops

And this link to the "woman who asked the question, Rachel Griffiths, 41, of Milan, Ill., identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good,"

What I appreciate about Mitt is his willingness to accept questions from anyone in the audience. He does not stack his audience with pro-Mitt questions or supporters only in his Ask Mitt Anything townhall meetings.

Additionally, as a Military Brat and currently a Military Spouse I highly support Mitt's comments. There are many ways to support the troops. As everyone is not suited to become lawyer or a Wulfgar, not everyone is suited to serve in the military.