describes "my days at a college paper." Since I went to Brigham Young University I wasn't in "a warm capacious womb, dogpaddling in the amniotic fluid of our unexamined assumptions, writing sentences as bad as this one and thinking ourselves quite clever." Well, I probably was, but not the same lefty, anti-war assumption he describes. The people who thought as he describes were generally from California and brought the infection with them only to find that it didn't spread very well. They were like pod people, but apparently the pods only functioned and grew in California. Provo's altitude and climate, and BYU's honor code and admissions policies weren't conducive to counterculture, which on most campuses then and since was the prevailing culture at least among the Humanities Faculties.
Now, I've acquired a little more cynicism about capitalism and politics, but not enough to make me think that more government is a solution to anything. I've examined my assumptions and tweaked them. Today, I wish that I had put in some time in the military. I doubt they would have trusted me to do much, since I weighed less than 120 lbs back then, but I got to know some people in law school who had spent time in the Army, Air Force and Marines who had shared something I hadn't. Maybe it was just being in on a big joke like those comedies we've seen about how FUBAR the armed services are, although some of them had definitely been through stuff like Band of Brothers
. Most of them had just been through a lot of macho training in stuff like parachuting and frogman stuff, but it definitely had something to do with knowing what testosterone was really for. I was never keyed into that male horseplay, jock stuff which usually involves smoking cigars and drinking scotch. I'm still not, but everytime I see these young men who go out to serve this country and test their manhood, I wish I were 18 and single and could go enlist.
I guess that makes me a chickenhawk in the eyes of bleeps like Ted Kennedy and Frank Lautenberg, but guys like that only make me think about all the people who fought, bled and died so that they could shoot their mouths off.
As I think about it, I was never one of those inspired by JFK, like John Kerry, Bill Clinton or Chris Matthews. I wanted wanted to be like my Uncle Frank, or Uncle Stewart who died in WWII or his brother Warren who was in the Bataan Death March and survived the Japanese prison camps. They probably would have said that I didn't miss anything. Maybe so, but I don't think that this country will endure without the families who pass on the tradition of service to their sons and daughters, who readily answer the call to fight. I hope we never have another Korea or Vietnam, not because it was a bad war, but because our leaders tried to fight it with a false understanding of our history or the nature of democratic war. America should always fight to win, not to establish a demilitarized zone.
As Victor Davis Hanson
points out, the Western and democratic way of war is all out until we win. He calls this the western dilemma, which means, I think, that we have to pick our fights and be sure we're agreed at the outset, but then do whatever it takes. If 9/11 wasn't a case for using our military, we should pack it all up and close it down, because we don't have the guts for the fight anymore.