Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I voted Republican today

If I had to pick one reason for my dislike of many liberal Democrats, Mark Steyn hammers it with this:
...too many upscale Dems believe: that America's soldiers are only there because they're too poor and too ill-educated to know any better. That's what they mean when they say 'we support our troops.' They support them as victims, as children, as potential welfare recipients, but they don't support them as warriors and they don't support the mission.
So, to all my liberal, well-meaning but clueless friends, let me let you in on a little secret- I am proud that I served in the military and proud to be the son of a career military man. I am proud that my oldest son has chosen the Navy path and that his younger brother also says he's headed that direction.

It offends me that you view service and deployments to war zones as subjects of sympathy ("Oh, I'm sorry to hear that he's overseas - I hope he's not doing anything dangerous?") instead of recognizing the pride that I feel in his service and my belief that helping freedom grow in the world is noble work. He is not a "victim" but he and his shipmates and all those who serve are champions in a noble cause - the defense of freedom.

Cheer them, don't feel sorry for them.

A Navy lieutenant who has picked up the daily challenges of taking a heavier-than-air object and making it fly deserves your respect, not your sympathy. That he also has accepted the responsibility to take care of his crew and others who depend on his skill in handling his aircraft is worthy of admiration, not your assumption of "there but for the grace of God." That he relies on the skills and professionalism of 19 and 20 years olds to keep his aircraft in flying shape speaks volumes about them and their efforts. It's Team out there in the fleet(or in the field) and weak links don't cut it.

While I may fake interest, I am unimpressed that your son/daughter just got out law school/MBA program and is now a drone for Big Name Law Firm/Investment Banking Firm making big bucks. My "poor" son can land on the heaving deck of a ship in bad weather and keep his cool when others around him are losing it. His dean's list grades, degree in physics and other academic successes will be still be there when he decides to hang up his flight suit. On the other hand, your child will have great stories of the briefs he/she wrote for the senior partner and how he/she drafted a wonderful set of interrogatories or floated a big bond issue. In Navy terms, BFD.

Life can be a series of real adventures. But some choose to "dare to be dull" to their loss and detriment. They will plod through their daily lives without ever having ridden out a typhoon at sea or experiencing any of ten thousand daily excitements known to our current troops or to the dwindling "greatest generation." What did Tennyson write?
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breath were life.
Did you ever wonder why old vets don't talk about their experiences except with other vets? In my experience, it's because their stories fall on uncomprehending ears unless the listener has also walked the warrior's path (even if that path involved shoveling manure in Louisiana).

But I digress. I have already been down the trail the Democrats want to revisit:
For national security in general, the Democrats' plan is so according-to-type that you cringe with embarrassment: It's mostly about new cash benefits for veterans. Regarding Iraq specifically, the Democrats' plan has two parts. First, they want Iraqis to "assum[e] primary responsibility for securing and governing their country." Then they want "responsible redeployment" (great euphemism) of American forces.

Older readers may recognize this formula. It's Vietnamization—the Nixon-Kissinger plan for extracting us from a previous mistake. But Vietnamization was not a plan for victory. It was a plan for what was called "peace with honor" and is now known as "defeat."
And my senator, Elizabeth Dole, called them on it here, much to the discomfort of the unpleasant Rahm Emanuel.

I know the result of not finishing what you start- you get a reputation as a "paper tiger" that can be outlasted in any fight.

Sometimes you have to hang on, just to prove you can hang on - if only to yourself.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

So, maybe my local Republican House candidate has no chance in a gerrymandered Democrat district. Maybe his campaign was over the top at times. I still held my nose and offered up a vote for the party that will fight the "long war" and hold the line.

I voted against media manipulation and for the troops. I voted against the second-guessers and those who have forgotten that things take time, Piet Hein wrote:
T. T. T.

Put up in a place
where it's easy to see
the cryptic admonishment
T. T. T.

When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it's well to remember that
Things Take Time.
You may disagree. That's the right my father and I and my son and thousands of other fathers and sons have fought and many have died for. But I voted my way in a free and open election.

I just wish I had been able to have my finger dyed purple.

UPDATE: My guy lost, which was not a surprise since the district was designed by the winner. May we live in interesting times.

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