gonzo liberal's Left Hook

[ Friday, January 09, 2004 ]


So we chose a nominee, run against Bush...
...and win.
Now what?
I want to address the military.
Specifically, that we need to repair the relationship between the military and the left.
I propose we start by remembering a vital fact; the military is not George Bush.
Bush mistakenly got us into a war. That is a disaster.
But the war itself is being prosecuted professionally.
Are there problems? Aplenty! And many of the problems the military has with itself could be laid right at the feet of the left, specifically, the Democrats.
The Democrats have had a somewhat two-faced relationship with the military over the years. On the one hand, the Dems are supposed to speak for the peaceniks, the "make love, not war" crowd, the righteously passifist, the conscientious objectors. On the other hand, Democratic congressfolk have special interests to care for, defense contracts to massage, the hidden constituency to pander to. Defense is not only necessary, but it's legitimate and big. And Democratic politicians look out for the interests of businessfolk in thier purview just as agressively as Republican pols do.
This dichotomy has been poorly digested by the left. We in the trenches tend to view both big business and the military with a sort-of superior distain. By refusing to participate in either the military or its contractors, some of us on the left feel quite morally superior; we're part of the solution, not part of the problem.
I propose that the left can no longer afford the luxury of fantasy. We must snap out of our Woodstock haze, if but for a few hours a day, and come to grips with the responsibiltiy of ownership.
Yes, my friends and bong-mates, we OWN the military. Yeah, that's right. You and me. And it's about time we started acting that way. There's much to learn to the uninitiated. It's a fascinating journey, and well worth the study. Pay more attention to the Democrats that have been involved in the defense industry for their careers; learn who these people are and what rules their decisions. Rise above the false superiority and start looking mechanically at what these people are all about. Only then, properly informed, can we be responsibly involved in shaping policy and politics.
There are many Democrats in the military. In the Pentagon, brass and gold ranks and on the ground. These brave citizens need to be encouraged to speak, and the rest of need to listen. Together we comprise the Democratic party and together we can do great things.
We on the left have for too long talked of the military as "them". It's about time we started using "we".

gonzoliberal [9:27 AM]