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January 24, 2006
Hell No, I Won't Show ... Support

Several members of the CQ community, as well as Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, and Glenn Reynolds, noted a most unfunny column by "humorist" Joel Stein in today's Los Angeles Times. Titled "Warriors and Wusses", Stein uses his column inches to announce that his support for Americans who serve in the armed forces only extends to the political correctness of their mission:

I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I'm tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel.

But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it's Vietnam.

Hugh and Michelle and plenty of others in the blogosphere have already weighed in on the moral abdication of such a position, along with its smarmy undercurrent of intellectual snobbery. Hugh absolutely destroyed Stein in his interview this evening, which I caught on the way home.

I will remind Stein and the Left that these men and women elect, as free citizens, to join the armed services of their own free will to protect all of us, regardless of partisan standing or philosophical bent. They follow the orders of their duly elected Commander-in-Chief, as authorized by Congress and organized by the officers commissioned under the Constitution. If one has a problem with the direction given to these men and women, take it up at the ballot box. We have an open and free society that allows for the peaceful transfer of power over the military by popular vote. If you find that your viewpoint does not get shared by a voting majority, don't blame the soldier for the lack of appeal that your partisans had in the election.

Supporting the troops really just means that you appreciate that they stand ready to carry out the policies of the United States in defense of our freedom and liberty, as expressed in the policies of our elected government. That has no bearing on any particular mission or enterprise, but instead comes from the sacrifice offered by our fellow citizens in uniform to give their lives so that we may remain free -- free to select our own leaders, free to write blogs, free to disagree with each other ... and in Stein's case, free to make an ass of himself by writing one of the most ill-conceived pieces of tripe published in a major media outlet.

If you can't even give the men and women in uniform that much consideration, then just consider keeping your mouth shut. It will serve you best in the long run.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 24, 2006 9:21 PM

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