Friday, October 4, 2013


I guess, perhaps, I am destined for membership in the Tea Party, that simplistic faction of U.S. politics which has segued into a metaphor for the kind of loud obstructionism that has lately shut down the American government. I too am a coward.

A coward.

And cowards piss me off.

They don't piss me off in the usual, easy-peasy contrast they may provide to a much-applauded courage... heroes, yay! cowards, boo! ... that sort of nonsense. Cowards piss me off because they hurt other people with their simpering unwillingness and egregious explanations that bolster their reasons for failing to enter a particular fray. Let others bear the burden... even unto death.

Last night, my younger son told me that his monthly National Guard training had been called off because of the government shutdown which has furloughed thousands, closed national parks, trimmed early-childhood schooling and cut back on a lot of, though not all, other programs.

I'm not a big fan of my son's military choice, but it is his choice and I honor it. And if anyone is going to make such a choice -- if, implicitly, someone offers to lay his or her life on the line -- then, to my way of thinking, they deserve the absolute best training possible. Death is called "the ultimate sacrifice" by flag-wavers. It is cowardice not to honor the principle you espouse. I suppose the Tea Party that shut down the government might agree. They're the kind of nitwits who wave the banners of "patriotism" and "heroism" from behind mahogany desks. And I dislike anyone who treats my son's life lightly.

Any paramecium-brained idiot can make a war. It's an easier and more self-serving way to live this life. It takes some serious courage to wage peace. But since the human capacity for cowardice and war is popular, I would just as soon my son were given the best skills available. And that means training.

Oh well, I am just expressing a very simple and no doubt simplistic paternal crankiness. And if anyone asks me to think it through -- to see all the ramifications -- I am inclined to tell them to go suck an egg. I don't care what the explanations are. I care about my son.

Color me a Tea Party coward.

I can live with that. I may not like it, but I can live with it.

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