The left side of the political landscape is usually populated by a kinder, gentler kind of folk. The kind of folk that strive to be politically correct and polite. They usually don't interrupt someone until they are finished speaking, and almost always avoid raising their voices and they hardly ever engage in name calling. There are not too many on the left that don't follow that image. You can say that Howard Dean occasionally gets excited, but you can't say he screams his position. Of all the people on the left (except me) you would be had pressed to actually find a firebrand. The left, by it's very nature is filled with polite, respectful people.
This puts them at a definite disadvantage when confronted by people such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. The people on the right are prone to fits of name calling and threats. The cowboy image of the President himself speaks volumes. Sometimes Hillary Clinton can be somewhat refreshing when she calls it like she see's it. It's too bad that Hillary talks one way and votes another. I think that the Progressive and Liberals need to take a good look at how we come across to the American people. There is defiantly something lacking.
In a perfect world, I would not have a problem with Jane Fonda speaking at the Rally on Saturday in Washington. Everyone has a right to be heard. In a perfect world I wouldn't have to explain myself for being against her speaking at the rally. Since this is not a perfect world, I have to defend myself from this very polite and forgiving liberal/progressive political block that in the majority it seems that Jane Fonda is as welcome as anyone else as long as she see's things "our" way. I guess people would feel that to criticize Ms. Fonda is not polite and forgiving. As I said earlier, I don't claim to be very polite and forgiving. Somebody once wrote that Progressives/Liberals can agree with 50 issues that someone on the left brings up, but if one of those issues don't follow the recognized mantra of the "party" line, then the other 49 issues that were completely in agreement with the Progressive/Liberal party line are forgotten, and that one issue will have negated any claim to being a Liberal/progressive.
Jane Fonda should have remained in the crowd. She doesn't hold office, is not exactly a big draw at the box office right now, in other words she has nothing to offer to the peace movement. She does however have the power to detract from the very movement that she purports to be a part of. The idea of Jane Fonda speaking at that peace rally was something that the right wing would have paid millions for. Karl Rove could not have come up with a better scenario. The idea of the right's poster girl of treason, speaking out on the war in Iraq was worth as much as the Pope calling for a crusade against Iran. That alone gave Rush Limbaugh enough material to keep him going for another ten years. It was the perfect photo op for the right. Gee, I wonder if anyone thought about it?
Why was it so important that Jane Fonda get the microphone? Is she so influential that she would actually get anyone to subscribe to the notion that this war is wrong? How many people respect Jane Fonda? I know that most every Vietnam Veteran, and anyone that has worn the uniform of the United States military hates her guts. Up until Saturday, I thought that I was over it, but when I saw that picture of her waiting to address the crowd at that rally, the anger in me surged up all over again. I hope that somebody doesn't tell me to "get over it". I have heard stories of guys that were held at that time saying that after Jane Fond's visit, the resulting publicity in the American press resulted in worse treatment than they had previously been subject to. The peace talks were going well for the American side at Paris, and the North Vietnamese were almost ready to make a gesture of good will by releasing most of the prisoners they had, and then the resulting publicity Fonda had generated made them change their minds. This I read in an interview with one of the negotiators. What purpose would be served by letting a woman that most of America's military detests, speak at that rally? The only purpose I see being served is that it would be good for Jane Fonda's ego. I was against the Vietnam War, but if someone had asked me, I would have said that she should have served some jail time for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. To go to an enemy and try to talk is one thing, but sitting in an anti-aircraft gun with a Vietnamese helmet on your head while hundreds of you countrymen languish in the Hanoi Hilton is another.
It was wrong then, and it's wrong now. She could have just shut up. If I'm incensed over it, how do you believe the people that did time fighting in Vietnam feel about it? I would have been happy to see her in the crowd supporting the efforts of peace, but to see her up there talking was way too much for me. The person that gave her that microphone should be ashamed of themselves. This is a classic case of the left shooting itself in the foot. I just have one more thing to add, if you have never worn the uniform of this nation's armed services, don't bother to comment because your opinion doesn't really matter to me a whole lot on this particular subject. If you served in Vietnam, or were in during Vietnam, you're opinions are welcomed by me. Anyone can comment, it's still a free country (at least when I wrote this it was). Thanks Jane, I hope your ego feels better. It's still all about you. I thought you had grown up by now.