Friday, December 17, 2010

(photo courtesy of my personal collection taken at the 111th Army Navy game)

Much has been made in the press regarding Mr. Obama having to postpone his Christmas vacation because of a recalcitrant Congress wrangling over "his" tax bill. A little has been made about Congress having to stay in Washington; potentially working through Christmas because the Democrat leadership left all of the heavy lifting until after the November election when they could--how to say this politely?--uh, stick it to the electorate during their lame duck session. With the passage of the extension of the Bush tax rates by Congress and scrapping of the $1.1 TRILLION budget in the Senate last night, perhaps our ruling class friends will get to go home after all and the President will get to don his Oakley's and board shorts and body surf for the cameras in the Oahu surf. Sigh of relief.

Yet, not once in the breathless press reports regarding Mr. Obama's Christmas vacation have I ever heard commentary or sympathy or even appreciation for the members of our military who will be working right through Christmas. Away from their homes and families. In a far away and hostile land. Not once.

So, I would like to thank them, each and every one, and their families. I would like to thank them for their courage and their self-sacrifice and their dedication to the preservation of this great Republic. I think about our military often, I think about their quiet discipline and constancy, their devotion to liberty, and their self-effacing humility.

I think of none of those qualities, by the way, when I think of Congress. But I digress.

As impressed as I am by the members of our military, I am equally as impressed with the naivete of many of our citizens. Can anyone tell me what that mysterious Coexist bumper sticker means? Tell me please why someone would slap an End this Endless War sticker on their back window? Do these people think that our country, and particularly those that serve, like war? That it never occurred to the average person to "coexist" peacefully with our neighbors? Is their smug moral superiority so veneered onto their brains that they think the rest of us have lost our way? That we enjoy seeing our military men and women sacrifice and suffer and die simply for the sake of mindless aggression? Did they not study the history of the Revolutionary War that launched this nation? Can you imagine a Revolutionary patriot slapping a Coexist sticker to the rump of his horse? Or a Revolutionary farmer planting an End this Endless War sign in their front garden while their neighbor marched shoeless through the bitter snow of New England trying to defeat the most powerful army the world had ever known?

Justice Stephen Breyer in an interview on Fox News Sunday last week argued that the Founder's couldn't possibly have understood what the future would hold for this nation when they penned the Constitution and the Federalist Papers: "That being the case, and particularly since the Founding Fathers did not foresee how modern day would change individual behavior, government bodies can impose regulations on guns, Breyer concluded." (emphasis mine)

It is exactly Justice Breyer's kind of arrogance that inspires our fellow citizens to explain to the rest of us the way the world works. It is what motivates City Council's to ban McDonald's toys, or the First Lady to dictate nutritional standards to our children; that arrogance emboldens the hapless Prius owner to paste a Coexist sticker on their bumper--to remind us all that peace is the answer. In case we didn't know.

So Justice Breyer in all his sophistication doesn't believe the Founder's exercised foresight? Allow me to quote from Federalist 34 where Hamilton is arguing for (among other things) a strong defense: "A cloud has been for some time hanging over the European world. If it should break forth into a storm, who can insure us that in its progress a part of its fury would not be spent upon us? ...Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. ...To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity, is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character.

Those prescient statements seem to me to anticipate wars and attacks, jealousies and aggression and most importantly, to clearly understand the true nature of man. So, until the rest of us are civilized enough to Coexist, let's offer support and prayer to the real hero's--the ones who will quietly serve far from home during Christmas and the New Year, Easter and children's birthday's and wedding anniversaries. With deep humility and sacrifice.

An inadequately heartfelt Thank You members of our Military. May God Bless you and your families this Christmas Season especially.

Oh yes, and: Go Navy! Beat Army!

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