Showing posts with label The Vietnam War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Vietnam War. Show all posts

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Reason Left This Country A Long Time Ago

Over the last few weeks, I have been watching Ken Burns' magnificent series entitled The Vietnam War. Like all of his films, his attention to detail and historical accuracy are truly remarkable.  The stories of each of the veterans of the Vietnam War had the most impact on me. I know several vets and nearly all of them have unanimous praise for the series. There is, however, one exception.

Along with Doctor Sean and Pastor Ed, Vietnam Vet Tim is a regular at the health club I go to for workouts. Like Sean and Ed, both of whom I have written about extensively on here over the years, Tim is very conservative. During the 2016 election, he foamed at the mouth about Hillary Clinton and wondered how I could look my daughter in the eye and support such a criminal for president. This was two days before the Access Hollywood tape was released. Oh, the sweet, sweet irony...

I ran into Tim a couple of days ago and asked him about Burns' series. His face immediately turned red and then went off about it being a hit job. I asked him if he watched the whole thing. He said that he watched part of one episode and then couldn't watch anymore more because it was so liberally biased. Anyone that was against the war was essentially a traitor and should be summarily punished. I then asked him about the Kent state shootings where four students lost their lives after the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of protesters.

"They all deserved to die," he said.

His view may sound completely irrational yet 58% of the country thought the same thing in 1970 when the shooting occurred. Protesters had burned down the ROTC building at Kent State the day before so people felt that killing unarmed students was completely justified. They were all a bunch of hippie fucking commies so why not cull the unwanteds. eh?

The only problem with this line of thinking was that not all of the victims were protesters. One of the four victims was a young man named William Knox Schroeder. Schroeder was an ROTC student who just happened to be walking by the protest between classes when a bullet from an M-1 semiautomatic rifle blew through his chest. Another, Sandra Lee Scheuer, was also merely walking between classes when she was shot.

I informed Tim of these facts but he got even worse. He stomped off after muttering something about insurgents and I really didn't want to continue a conversation with a Vietnam Vet who was still in very deep denial about what really happened. Not surprisingly, Tim is a die hard Trump supporter who refuses to accept any sort of fact that conflicts with his vision of reality.

I'm certain that there are many folks out there that are wondering how Donald Trump can be the representative of our nation. How can people be so unreasonable? The fact is that this has been going on a long time. A large swath of our electorate suspends logic when they vote. The very fabric of our country is woven with epistemic closure.

The 58% of the people that thought that killing student protesters was justified all share the same mindset of today's Trump voter. Facts don't matter. Only their anger, hate and fear matter. The truth is what we make it, not what those arrogant, elitist scum tell us is the truth. Only the other side is evil and our people are always in the right.

And people wonder why there are comparisons made to Nazi Germany...