My Dad the Warhawk

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My
dad is boycotting pretty much all of Hollywood, most of the rest
of the entertainment industry, and all of the TV news stations except
one. I’ll let you guess which. Far be it from me to excoriate someone
for exercising one of the few rights we have left in this world,
voting with our wallets in that democracy known as the marketplace,
but his latest boycott declaration just got on my nerves.

He will now apparently never watch anything on ABC ever again because
Ted Koppel read the names of all the American soldiers killed in
Iraq. (I don’t suppose he’ll be adding daily updates to the list.)
My dad didn’t like this because it was an affront to the Bush administration’s
foreign policy. Maybe he thought reporting facts that hurt the credibility
of the neocons was too much editorializing in a news broadcast?
I thought: as narrow-minded and stubborn as that is, it’s his prerogative
to boycott whoever opposes his ideas, which is fine, even if it
looks a little foolish. I mean, I don’t like those socialists in
the entertainment industry, either.

But then came the part that really bothered me. He said it wasn’t
just that it was a display of liberal-peacenik protest that irked
him; it was that Koppel was making the high price and the death
toll of this war hit home too hard, and the liberals don’t understand
that for this war to succeed, Americans must be shielded from the
grim realities of war, or else they won’t support it. Yeah,
you read it right. He said it, probably not in so many words. A
man who’s been a “conservative” all his life, claiming to oppose
growth of government, welfare, regulation, socialism, and above
all, Democrats, said Americans can’t be made aware of the realities
of war because they can’t handle it (we’ve been so sissified, after
all, which is true), but the war must be waged in full force by
the government to ensure…victory, freedom, security, I don’t know.
The citizens of the United States cannot and should not know too
much about what the Imperial Federal Government is doing, and for
the leftist media to report on it is reckless, immoral, and contrary
to the interests of the United States, or maybe the government –
according to a lot of people, they’re one and the same thing. He
directed this declaration towards my mom, but my sister and I were
right there at the table, so it was really to everyone.

(As a side note, my mom recently informed me, as I flipped past
his show on CNBC, that, “You know, Dennis Miller is a conservative
now.” HA! According to whose definition? All those people who call
themselves “conservatives” and “liberals,” that’s who. He hasn’t
changed philosophical paths; he’s merely changed
direction, somewhat, along the same path
. Though they claim
different labels, they’re all leftists. We know better. My mom doesn’t,
but it’s not her fault. She doesn’t have the time, know-how, high-speed
internet, or interest in the internet to expose herself to anything
other than the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boortz, Hannity, and
my dad. She is often incredulous and even suspicious of things they
spout, but too insecure, diffident, and gullible to stand up to
them and defend her original inclinations.)

But back to the topic of the realities of war. I wonder what my
dad would think if Americans were so unaware of, or indifferent
to, the number of people killed so far in the war on terror that
they didn’t really raise much of a fuss when the Imperial Federal
Government started enslaving boys to serve as cannon fodder. He
has two sons. I might be old enough to avoid a potential draft;
I don’t know about my brother. He is 20. He is not in college, not
that college would protect anyone whose close relative didn’t vote
to pass the slavery legislation.

What unnerves me as much as, if not more than, anything else in
the world is that if one or both of my dad’s sons died fighting
in a seemingly endless and not so successful war on terror, against
their will, that still might not change his mind about the correctness
of his militarist doctrine; he still might rationalize and justify
his incredible loss, our ultimate sacrifice, the discontinuation
of his family name, etc., because it was for some greater goal of
his. Well, maybe he’d have more sense than that. If you’re
not selfish enough to put your own family above your government
(or country, same thing), then something is terribly wrong with
you. Then again, I guess that’s why senators and congressmen and
warmongers in the executive branch would protect their sons as much
as they could.

But what else should the military do that we don’t know about, for
our own good? Put foreign-born American citizens or legal immigrants
in internment camps for the duration of the war (forever)? Imprison
liberal anti-war dissidents? Censor the press? Rig the elections?
Should it not tell us why it suspends various Constitutional freedoms,
nor even need a reason? How much would these “conservatives” endorse?
How much would it take for them to say, “Hold on. We’ve gone too
far. We are not defending a free society from attack anymore. We
are killing ourselves.” They say the Democrats have been doing so
for decades; they are right; it might take a lot more before they
realize the leftists in the other party are hurting us, too.

I know freedom-loving Americans like my family shouldn’t be fooled
into the same old statist mindset that’s haunted humanity for millennia.
I don’t know exactly whom to blame for the corruption of their minds
that allows statism to take such a strong hold and convince them
it’s “freedom.” Maybe the media, for starters. Talk-show hosts like
Neal Boortz, whom I will write about in my next column, ought to
know better. Newspaper columnists are idiots. TV personalities wish
they rated as high as “idiot.” My dad never uses the internet; my
mom hardly uses it other than to get emails from me. Baby-boomers
are not exposed to the plethora of libertarian thought on the worldwide
web as much as younger people are. Then again, I don’t know if I
would have had enough sense to remain a true libertarian if a friend
hadn’t recommended LewRockwell.com to me. With all my use of the
internet, I might still be listening to the statism, excuses, spin,
and backtracking spouted by Neal Boortz, Sean Hannity, and the columnists
at TownHall.com, the Wall Street Journal, and Washington
Times. It seems the neocons and social democrats are doing all
they can to discredit themselves lately, though.

June
1, 2004

John
Petrie [send him mail]
is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia majoring in genetics.

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