I’m probably going to get some shit for this one. I don’t really care as much as I probably should, but then, there are a lot of things that I don’t care about as much as I should, so why should this week’s topic be any different? Today, I’m going to be going over the military. More specifically, military veterans.
The following scene is one that is commonly found on social media: someone shares an article with a vaguely liberal bias – it could be news about the progress of the Black Lives Matter movement; it could be talking about the latest well-known athlete to #takeaknee (or lesser-known – most people wouldn’t know who Colin Kaepernick is if he hadn’t popularized that particular form of protest); this hypothetical article could detail the goings on of the local minority religious group; or it could be going over the latest proposed legislation by Bernie Sanders or AOC, or whoever happens to be causing Republicans to foam at the mouth at the moment. In any case, it’s guaranteed there’s going to be at least one comment, by some veteran or veteran “friendly” asshole, stating that veterans didn’t fight in whichever war/police action so that Satanists/black people/socialists could run amok (Amok, amok, amok!)
So. Veterans did not serve social and political minorities to have a voice. Okay. Sure. Let’s explore that. If allowing minorities a voice is not a reason for veterans to have fought, what do they fight for? If you ask any of them, the answer you are most likely to hear is “To protect the freedoms of my fellow Americans!” or some variation of that.
Why, then, do some of these same veterans who fought for Americans’ freedom shame others for exercising the rights and freedoms they protected?
Actually, let’s rephrase that. That question deserves a little bit more dignified outrage.
How dare these certain veterans shame others for exercising the rights and freedoms they claim to have fought for?
To be fair, these are the same type of people whose only measure of courage is one’s ability to face one’s enemies in combat. (It, arguably, takes a good deal more courage to stand and say something is wrong when the rest of the world is telling you to sit down and shut up or it will be worse for you, than it is to shoot at actively hostile enemy combatants in a foreign land.) So, to be fair, the strength of character of these people is already in question.
Of course, I have my own theory on why these rights-exercising-shamers serve in the military. It has nothing to do with freedom. I think they fought for their own egos.
I know I’ve already pissed a few of you off, but let’s go back to our Satanic principle of facing the uncomfortable, and remember that we are the masters of our own emotions, not the other way around. Once we’ve calmed our tits, we can take a look at this rationally.
A person who has genuinely fought for another person’s rights is not going to turn around and shame or try to prevent another from exercising those same rights, even if that person disagrees with what others are saying, how they are saying it, and why they are saying it. A person who has genuinely fought for these things may disagree; he may also voice that disagreement, or even engage in a dialogue. But he does not send death threats to football players who kneel rather than stand during the national anthem. He does not lobby for theocratic institutions in the US, a country where separation of church and state is one of the many rights and freedoms we enjoy. He does not bring guns to libraries where children are being read to by drag queens.
Those are the actions of men and women who are so controlled by fear that the world around them terrifies them. They style themselves as brave, but they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Veterans who shame others for exercising their rights are among the most cowardly individuals I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting.