Monday, October 29, 2007

I Question Your Patriotism

I don't normally do actual direct reporting -- except for my restaurant reviews. Typically, I will see something somewhere, and I will link to it and bloviate.

But something happened over the weekend, and I just had to blog about it. Something of no great import, but it really struck me. On impulse, the Main Squeeze and I went to a late night showing of the latest cut of Blade Runner. The movie itself was great -- fun seeing Blade Runner again on the big screen, and of course it's nice to see Ridley Scott's version, as opposed to the happy-ending version foisted upon him by the studio.

Before the film they had the obligatory advertisements, including a music video-style ad for the National Guard. I looked for it online without success, and I would have posted the video if I had found it. Essentially it was a montage of the National Guard throughout history -- citizen soldiers fighting the Redcoats, more recent conflicts, and it also showed them in non-combat duties, like disaster relief and emergency rescue. It was kind of what you would expect from National Guard ad.

Here's what shocked me: after the ad ended, I heard boos and hisses from some other members of the audience. Not all of the audience, by any stretch, but an appreciable number booed the National Guard.

Now, it is certainly unfair to make generalizations about an entire group based upon a smattering of people in a late-night showing of an old science ficiton movie. However, given the demographics of the area, it's nearly certain that most of the people in that theater (myself and the Main Squeeze excepted) would identify themselves as being on the left.

Granted, many people who would self-identify as being leftists would be as revolted by that display as we were. Nonetheless, the modern left really does include within its ranks a fairly important group which thinks nothing of booing the National Guard. I will be blunt: while most Democrats are undoubtedly as patriotic as the next person, the fact is that somebody who would boo the National Guard in a theater is almost certainly a Democrat. And if they are not a Democrat, it's because the Democratic Party is insufficiently leftist and anti-American.

In the long run, I think that is a bad thing. Bad for America, bad for the Democratic Party, possibly even bad for democracy.

I have not blogged a lot about the Iraq war, but it's fair to say that I have some reservations about it -- in the long run, I think it may have been a tactical mistake. And I think that the cost of the war, both in terms of lives and treasure, may outweigh any possible benefits. Still, I have to say that I find much of the anti-war left utterly off-putting, because I think that a lot of them are, well, the sort of person who would boo a National Guard ad at a movie theater.

A while back, Blackfive posted a video by Australian country music singer Beccy Cole. Cole may be wrong on the merits, but culturally I feel a lot more affnity to her than those Code Pink people. Culturally, I have a visceral antipathy to the sort of people who would boo a National Guard ad. And yes, I question their patriotism.

To end this on a postive note, here's that wonderful Beccy Cole video:


UPDATE: Frequent commenter Society Girl was able to identify the video/ad. It's the song "Citzen Soldier" by 3 Doors Down. And the video is indeed available on YouTube.


5 comments:

society girl said...

I think you are probably referring to the 3 Doors Down video "Citizen Soldier, which the National Gaurd is using as an ad -- it is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJRthpxDM10

society girl said...

Oh, BTW, I agree with you that it is absolutely disgusting for anyone to boo and hiss at this video.

Arlingtonguy said...

I just saw this at a showing of "Lars and the Real Girl." THe link to the video is at http://www.1800goguard.com/movie/index2.php.

I found the video appalling in content and execution, drawing false parallels between fighting in Iraq and the American Revolution and suggesting that the Iraq War is about 9/11.

Real soldiers who have been to Iraq know that the war was about oil and ensuring George Bush's 2nd election. If it were not, they would have been provided with adequate armor for their bodies and vehicles and they would have been cared for when they returned with injuries. If the war was about the Iraqi people, the U.S. government would not have stood back while looting took place. They would not have allowed hundreds of thousands of guns to be left in the hands of angry, unemployed militants who then used them to kill Iraqis and Americans.

You may question my patriotism, but I question yours. Why would you support such unquestioned jingoism, when it has lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, billions of wasted dollars, and chaos? The United States is in a worse place for this war, and this video is a thinly veiled attempt to rally support from a weary country.

I'm not buying it.

Anonymous said...

One of the primary missions of the National Guard is to respond to disasters here at home. Next time San Francisco decides it wants to slide into the Pacific, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods - name your disaster - the booing folks might have a change of heart when its the National Guard that comes to airlift their grandma off the roof of her house.

Boo the people that send your military fight unjust wars, not the people who signed up to defend you.

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