In response to my July 3 posting, “Oh God, when will it end?” Laudyms wrote, “I agree with most of what you write, but not the part about abandoning friends and relatives who support the Iraq horrors for the wrong reasons. Maybe if you know some mercenary cynic who embraces death and destruction for profit- well sure, cu them loose. But most GOPers are deluded by sentiment and false information. Have pity on them, and hope the realities will make them reassess their choices.”
The first issue raised goes to the anonymity offered by the Internet and the clearly delusional presupposition encased in our National Anthem: the “home of the brave.” Generally I do not respond to those too timid, too faint-hearted, the summer soldiers who lack even sufficient courage to identify themselves appropriately. Not a single advance in human progress has ever been accomplished by such as these. Every advance has been by those with the backbone to stand up and say, “Here I am, take your best shot, because I’m not backing down.”
No newspaper accepts a letter to the editor without the full name and city of residence of the author of the letter. I cannot grasp why any Internet op-ed platform should be different. I am wholly unconvinced by assertions that to provide one's full name and city of residence is dangerous today. That goes directly to the issue of courage and the strength of one’s convictions. Either you’ve got ‘em, or you don’t. If you’re deficient, the sidelines, as a silent spectator, is where you ought to remain. Unfortunately for this country and for this world, the noxious tide has built to the point that silent spectators are a burden to the task. What are needed, and needed desperately, are those who will stand tall, to be counted.
The second issue is a child of the first: “abandoning friends and relatives.” One is not abandoning anybody when one stands on solid principles of decency. Let’s reluctantly provide a pass for those who voted for George Bush and his GOP backers in the legislature in 2000. But, certainly by 2004 the crimson stains and depredations were so manifest that only those who liked the idea of thousands of small children suffering the most gruesome mutilations, only those who liked the idea of utter waste and carnage writ great across entire horizons, only those who liked the idea of damning entire future generations of Americans to the most dire poverty voted to retain, nay, advance and expand the policies that culminated in the preceding calumnies. BY THEIR VOTES THEY SAID ‘I LOVE THIS.’
Or, is any other interpretation the least possible? And by their votes they made it all possible. They were the enablers, without which it just could not have continued. They are as Lady MacBeth, and the terrible spot of their personal criminality will not “out.” Their hands are soiled by the deaths and mutilations they made possible, and that they said they were for. For anyone to let another off the hook, for any reason — blood relationship or other — reeks of the most pathetic and tawdry and cowardly misanthropy. If you are so impoverished as to need a friend that much . . .
As I was growing up, my mother used to remind me “You are who you hang with.”
Laudyms defined the shallowness of his character.
Today is the Fourth of July, the day when proud men, angry men facing a hangman’s noose, stood up and stood their ground, to tell the king of the most powerful nation on earth, “Go to hell, you sonofabitch — take your best shot, because we’re not backing down.” What say others? Who among us today will stand and with the courage to affix their legitimate name to the cry, unapologetically exclaim, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any longer!”?
I am Ed Tubbs, and I am in Oakland, California.