Support the Troops, Oppose the War
Vol: 46 Issue: 27 Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania, Catherine Baker Knoll, showed up uninvited to the funeral of Marine S/Sgt. Joseph Goodrich on July 19. Sgt. Goodrich had been killed nine days earlier while serving in Iraq.
According to published reports, Lt. Governor Knoll did a little politicking while there, passing out business cards, glad-handing with the grieving relatives.
At one point, she tried to comfort one of those grieving relatives by saying, “I want you to know that our [Pennsylvania’s] government is against the war.”
Before we go any further, it is significant to note that Pennsylvania’s government has no right to be ‘against the war’. The decision to go to war is one granted under the Constitution to the Congress, not the individual states.
Ed Rendell, current governor of Pennsylvania, served as head of the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration, so he is highly experienced in spinning something negative into something positive, but even he couldn’t bring himself to support Knoll’s efforts to turn the death of a US Marine into a political opportunity.
Rendell immediately issued a damage-control statement saying, , “It’s not the business of state government to support the war, but our state supports the men and women who are fighting this war.”
Rendell is correct, as I already noted. States have no right to take sides against the federal government in areas where the federal government has Constitutional jurisdiction. Politicians swear an oath to defend and support the United States, and individual states have the same obligation.
But what about the question of supporting US forces who are fighting the war, while opposing the war itself? Is that possible?
No less a personage that former president Bill Clinton, who, at the time, was facing impeachment, announced to America, “You can’t say you love your country but that you hate your government.”
To be sure, Clinton was lying, because his lips were moving. All he was trying to do at the time was try and gin up a little sympathy for himself, but he inadvertently stumbled into making a truthful statement, nonetheless.
It is impossible to love one’s country but hate one’s government, for two reasons. The first is that the government — in the United States, at least — is elected by the majority of the states. The hated federal government is therefore, put into power by the majority of the citizens of the country one claims to love.
But, some may argue, Al Gore got slightly more of the popular vote than did Bush in Election 2000, so that means the majority of the country really wanted Gore. Untrue.
Presidents are elected through the Electoral College system mandated by the Constitution. Al Gore got slightly more popular votes, but had he been elected by the popular vote, Al Gore would not have been the choice of the country, but rather the choice of a few states.
A look at the Red State/Blue State map illustrates that fact.
That is why the Electoral College system exists — to ensure that the Chief Executive represents the choice of the majority of the states, rather than the choice of just the most populous states.
The Chief Executive therefore, is the representative of the States. If one hates one’s government because it represents the view of the other political party, then love of country is replaced by love of party.
Loving one’s country means the same thing as loving one’s family. You may not agree with everyone in your family, but when one member of that family faces a tragedy, or a threat, or a looming disaster, the family closes ranks in defense.
Even when a family member is charged with some highly public and particularly heinous crime, such as Michael Jackson’s serial pedophilia charges, the Jackson family closed ranks in solidarity with their brother.
It is highly unlikely, (to me, at least) that the Jackson family can’t see how weird the guy is. (None of them, to my knowledge, is blind.)
They might be a bit weird themselves — some of them, at least. (How many times has YOUR sister exposed her breast on national TV at a Super Bowl show?)
But while Michael, the King of Weird, was facing charges that he molested little boys, even the least weird members of the Jackson family expressed unequivocal support for him.
But that is to be expected. When a family member is in danger or under attack, the rest of the family closes ranks — to the degree that, had one Jackson broken ranks and declared Michael’s behavior with children reprehensible, it would have been headline news.
Why? Because it is reprehensible for a 46 year old man to sleep nude with other people’s children? THAT isn’t news. We ALREADY know that is reprehensible behavior.
It would have been headline news because if one of the Jacksons had broken ranks, the fact it came from a family member would have had increased the credibility of the charges against Michael.
Stay with me, I am about to tie it together. It isn’t about Michael Jackson — he is merely the illustration of my point. The point is that Jackson family closed ranks around Michael Jackson.
Do you believe the rest of the family also sleeps with little boys? Do you think they think it is ok? Did you ever once think that the Jackson solidarity was because the whole family were a bunch of pedophiles? Or that the rest of the family didn’t KNOW Michael slept with little boys or that it was both socially and legally unacceptable?
But when it came to facing the threat to Michael Jackson’s existence as he knew it, they were all as weird as they had to be — out of love of family.
Domestically, we also have the left, the middle and the right. Externally, we are facing a threat to America’s continued existence as we know it. There are those within all three political positions who recognize the need to close ranks.
They love their country enough to be as weird as necessary, so to speak, in order to preserve it’s continued existence. Once the threat has passed, there will be plenty of time for internal disagreements.
But those who break ranks to declare America’s behavior ‘reprehensible’ grab all the news headlines. The reason? For the same reason a member of the Jackson family testifying for the prosecution would be headline news.
Because it was a family member that turned against the family, that testimony would be incredibly powerful evidence. Family members don’t turn against one another without extraordinary reasons.
Had one of Michael Jackson’s family corroborated the evidence against Michael Jackson, he would be in prison, the family would have been shattered, and the Jackson who turned state’s evidence would have been regarded as a traitor by his family, and probably by most other observers.
Even though most would argue that it took great courage to do ‘the right thing’ (the mantra of the Left — since they claim everything the Right does is the ‘wrong’ thing) — most would also share the Jackson family assessment that it was a betrayal of the family itself.
Right now, US troops are in harm’s way, fighting for a cause that they are being told is not worthy dying for by members of their own ‘family’ — who in the same breath, claim that they both support the troops and the ‘family’ they are fighting for.
It is the equivalent to Germaine Jackson claiming to support his brother Michael and expressing solidarity with his family while simultaneously offering to testify against him for the prosecution.
It might sound noble from the perspective of the prosecutor, but it doesn’t bespeak much loyalty from the perspective of the family fighting to keep him out of prison and the family intact.
As I said, the analogy isn’t perfect — I in no way intend to compare George Bush to Michael Jackson or America to the Jackson family. But there are comparable elements, if one is willing to stretch an analogy to its breaking point — as I am doing here.
(I hope I didn’t snap it altogether.)
The point was the way that families tend to close ranks when threatened — whether they agree with the reasons behind the threat or not.
Given the nature of the charges against Michael, if ever a family had cause to betray their brother and claim the moral high ground, it would have been in this instance. Had they, the damage would have been incalculable.
The whistleblower might have been able to bask in his public nobility, but his family would pay the price for his glory.
America is facing a ‘prosecution’ from an enemy dedicated to its destruction. The dedication is rooted in the belief America is guilty of an offense that justifies its destruction.
And there are no shortage of American officials willing to testify for the prosecution — because they think it might hurt the hated Bush administration, which is, as previously noted, their own government.
While claiming to support our troops and love their country.