Saturday, November 3, 2012

Acrimony for All

I've voted in a lot of Presidential elections, but the mean-mindedness this time around is close to unbelievable.

I'm not talking about the candidates themselves, but about two things coming from different angles: PACs and citizens (and certainly more than a few non-citizens) on the Internet. I've just been reading through a series of responses that detailed Romney's ministerial service in France during the peak of the Vietnam War; some of the responses were rational, but others not so. I did get a kick out of several who chastised President Obama for not serving during 'Nam. Considering his age ranged from about four to about fourteen during that war, he would have been a real phenomenon. Romney had college draft deferments before he got ministerial deferments; college deferments were the norm for students in those days.

Romney, though, was something of a war hawk, carrying placards in support of the war. That reminds me somewhat over everyone's favorite action hero, John Wayne: he got through WWII without serving because his studio had him declared 4F. During the height of the Vietnam protests, Wayne was a war hawk, verbally abusing the young men who dodged the draft by going to Canada.

Then, and now, the U.S. seems to have developed a trend towards fighting wars that are less than imperative, making serious, and costly in terms of lives and materiel, attempts to bring democracy to those who neither want it nor have the cultural background to use it. The wonder of seeing purple thumbs on voters in places like Afghanistan wears off when one sees that one form of dictatorial government is replaced with another that quickly moves towards similar practices.

The level of acrimony during the Vietnam War years was nothing compared to what it is now. I've never been called as many names as in recent months. I do wonder sometimes just how many people change their minds because an anonymous poster verbally abuses them. A hint of a rational reason for changing one's vote might help, but being called a Libtard or Repugnican doesn't seem the way to make great progress.

As I've written before, the anonymity of the Internet is responsible for this freedom to cuss others out with no retaliation beyond a few easily ignored words. It's probably my age, but I do miss people standing up and personally taking responsibility for what they say and how they say it.

In the meantime, consider the two logos here. Christmas is coming. The Marine Corps League and the Marine Corps Reserve are accepting donations for children for this season's coming tree.

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