The Super Macho Patriot Brigade

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Good
news! Good news! Good news! The military is re-instating 70-year-olds
in its efforts to staff the troops needed in the Iraq-Afghanistan
theater.

By
raising the age of eligibility for military service a whole generation
of patriots can participate in military service, rather than being
relegated to merely championing it from afar for the young.

And
so in the spirit of Rush Limbaugh's suggestion for an All-Women's
Amazon Brigade, I hereby suggest the formation of a Super Macho
Patriot Brigade.

What
are the qualifications for the Super Macho Patriot Brigade? Candidates
must 1) be a vocal advocate of current US military operations, 2)
be over age 40, 3) have not served in the military in their youth – which
is to say did everything imaginable to avoid service during the
Vietnam or other war era, and 4) earn an above average, very comfortable
living substantially in part by championing service in the Iraq
War.

Finally,
with the implementation of the Super Macho Patriot Brigade, the
folks fitting the above profile will be able to shed their Chickenhawk
reputation.

So
who comes to mind as candidates for the Super Macho Patriot Brigade?

Certainly
Rush Limbaugh, who avoided military service in the late 1960s due
to a cyst on his behind. Cysts are treatable, so I assume this was
done decades ago. Maybe Rush can enlighten us when he rushes down
to the recruitment office. And of course Rush has lost a lot of
weight these past several years and is an active golfer, being so
physically accomplished that he even participates in tournaments
regularly.

Sean
Hannity, who once laughed off the idea of his enlisting with the
quip, "they don't want 41-year-olds with a spare tire around
their waist." Now they do, Sean. Besides, eight weeks of basic
training will take care of the spare tire. But Sean's personal trainer
has already buffed him up for his time in the military, so this
really is no excuse at all.

Neal
Boortz. Now admittedly, in contrast to his soon-to-be comrades in
arms, Neal actually did try to join in his youth. Neal's asthma
kept him out of the service. Of course, there have been many advances
in medical treatments and technology to lighten the physical requirements
of military service during the intervening years. And like the other
two, Neal boasts of being in good shape from his work with a personal
trainer, even to the point that he regularly pilots acrobatic planes
and hot-air balloons, skis mountains around the world, and is an
avid and knowledgeable gun enthusiast. Surely, if anything, Neal
may actually be overqualified to begin his military service as a
private.

Others
who quickly come to mind include moralist Bill Bennett, blabbermouth
Michael Savage, politico Newt Gingrich, the hateful Ann Coulter,
privileged Michael Reagan, suck-up Joe Scarborough, Vice President
Dick Cheney, pompous Bill O'Reilly, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz,
Trent Lott, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, Saxby Chambliss, Jeb Bush,
Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Ted Nugent, John Ashcroft…. When you
stop to think about it, there are quite a few high-profilers who
fit the pattern for membership. Yes, none of these gung-ho war enthusiasts
ever served in the military.

Other
than relieving these very public patriots of their "do as I
say, not as I do" hypocrisy, think of the practical and moral
benefits of each of the Super Macho Patriot Brigade members replacing
a 20-year-old in combat.

The
20-year-old has only begun his adult life. The 20-year-old, in contrast
to the Brigade members, has not experienced years of marital bliss,
the joy of offspring, a fulfilling career, wealth and fame. These
proposed Brigade members have enjoyed literally decades of adult
life and all of its attendant experiences along with a level of
wealth and fame beyond most Americans' comprehension. If Americans
must die in service
to their country, as these folks constantly tell us is necessary,
surely it should be those who have already had a full life rather
than those just starting out.

Think
of what a lift to the spirits of their fellow soldiers these rich,
older, famous, accomplished people will bring when they are seen
shoulder to shoulder with our men in uniform. And so, as a public
service, I offer this proposal and await the enthusiastic response
for those eligible to fill the ranks of the Super Macho Patriot
Brigade.

March
3, 2005

Jim
Cox is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Lawrenceville
Campus of Georgia Perimeter College and author of Minimum
Wage, Maximum Damage
.

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