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: