Disturbing insights

This ignorant cracker entered the US Army in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis [when the Berlin Wall went up]. Given the similarities of patriotic rhetoric between countries he’d as happily taken the orders of an Adolph Hitler as John Kennedy.

Yesterday I was down at the laundromat, which was a bit crowded with the lower-end of the socioeconomic scale of Leavenworth, Kansas.   But because of the time of day, most were senior citizens or younger wives with kiddos.   Several old Vietnam era vets and a couple of granny-ladies.

When it’s that crowded in the place it forces people to become social instead of just staring at the clothing tumbling in their washers or dryers.   And when strangers discuss anything these days it will be sports, television, politics, or Muslims, for the most part.   Some of which inevitably leads to confessions of some nasty hatreds and deep biases.

I was a bit shocked when the discussion centered almost entirely on the president and the enthusiasm shared among the ones who were vocal on the subject.    These people, senior citizens who obviously rely on Social Security pensions and Medicare, are still devoted and determined to to see this president and the Congress with intentions to destroy their Medicare and Social Security remain in office.   Increase their power.

I’ll confess to have been quietly dumbfounded.   They sneered at the class of people who are openly critical or have doubts about the prez and the Congress that’s likely to put them out on the streets cold an hungry.  And the old vets were noisy about the opposition being expressed in some quarters to a proposed military parade somewhere.   Which I couldn’t care less about one way or the other.

But I’ve digressed somewhat.    All that got me remembering, wondering just what sort of people we veterans are, on the whole.   Obviously we aren’t deep thinkers.    And while many spout patriotic rhetoric and indignation, as nearly as I can tell most have remained the ignorant crackers most of us were back when we entered the military 50 years or so ago.

But what’s more disturbing than our lack of growth and acquired wisdom over the decades, is the fact so many of us evidently are using our stupidity as a launchpad for active participation in the political process.

To demolish our own livelihood.

Figure that one out.

Old Jules

18 responses to “Disturbing insights

  1. about the time the donald got elected we had a lot of media coverage of ‘pink hats’ protesting and north african refugees coming across the border into canada. the joke was half the refugees are canadian ex-military looking for a better deal. one canadian’s opinion. donald was definitely the lesser of two evils and if he lost his thumbs (and the mainstream media would lay off– your media is incredibly anti this president– unprecedented) his popularity would go up. he’s certainly made some bad choices (wrong people in power) but look who we got with the nice hair.

    On Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 8:08 AM, So Far From Heaven wrote:

    > Old Jules posted: “Yesterday I was down at the laundromat, which was a bit > crowded with the lower-end of the socioeconomic scale of Leavenworth, > Kansas. But because of the time of day, most were senior citizens or > younger wives with kiddos. Several old Vietnam era vets ” >

    • 2016 was definitely a lesser of evils election for those with stomach enough to vote in the general election. But the killer was the fact one party ended up dominating the political scene for the foreseeable future, including the US Supreme Court, and even state legislatures and governorships.
      The problem is partly in the fact there’s no credible opposition within the two-party system. And no means by which third parties can gain a toe hold. But that’s politics and representative democracy. My concern is more in the region of what the dominant US citizenry is proving itself to be. Gracias, Old Jules

  2. It is puzzling, Jack, but not new, unfortunately. I’m in no position, nor I have the desire, to criticize our vets, but they, and the majority of contemporary America, are poorly educated, and I don’t mean not having a formal education. Many do, in fact. But the quality of teaching in the U.S. for at least a generation has been declining steadily, and critical thinking is something that must be taught. It requires a lot of knowledge, in fact, a deep understanding of the trajectory of thought and grasp of reality that comes from 2000 years of accumulated knowledge. And that’s simply unpractical to expect from someone to grasp ‘naturally,’ without the help of a good education. That also includes a more profound understanding of what is politics and how is not defined by those who exercise it; it’s something that’s present and fundamental in our lives as food, no matter that many think that they are ‘apolitical.’ Every choice one makes is political, so it’d be better that it’d be an educated one. I think that vets have an edge in relation to the general population, though, and I’d hope that at least some, not too damaged to act, will seek an education, once back to civilian life, and a more active participation in the life of their communities and countries. Given what’s been done to them, though, specially what’s been taken away from them, I have to admit that it’s a tall order. That’s really sad as the nation could learn a thing or two about what they’ve learned by the hard way, on the battlefield. But if they have no means, and struggle to even making a living or having the health and medical help they need, such hope is really unrealistic. Cheers

    • I’m not so sure any longer that civility and education go hand in hand, although I’ll grant you this country is in the toilet where education is concerned. But the bigotry of the educated is no less venal than the bigotry of the uneducated in any measurable way. And there’s plenty of bigotry in the educated. Which was what made the past few national elections so devastating. Gracias, Old Jules

  3. It isn’t broken enough for people to return to their innate humanity (I am an idealist), but don’t worry, it will be. Also interesting is the administration’s plan to cut Social Security Disability and derision openly touted for the disabled by Paul Ryan. In what is referred to as “the disability belt” across the south 70% of voters voted for this president.

    • I believe you are correct. But when it gets that broken the solutions tend to have the folks yawned, “Let them eat cake” in an untenable position. Gracias, Old Jules

  4. Too many people making their decisions based on what they see on TV and unable or unwilling to do any real investigation for themselves.

  5. Much of the problem is our stubborn attachment to tribalism. Being a staunch Democrat or a staunch Republican slams the door on reasonable thought and civil, civic discussion. Sadly, the authors of the Constitution did not see the advent of a two major party system. If they had, they would have probably written in necessary protections to safeguard the nation from the inherent rivalry present in such a setup.

    In many ways, the United States might be much better off with a European style parliamentary system.

  6. How much of the vet “problems/issues” are due to how many vets have pinned their entire identities on being vets on their discharge day and never feeling the desire or need to pursue any form of personal growth, Their service being the sum total of their existence and future? Supplemented by a cottage industry of yellow ribbon decals, bumper stickers and baseball caps and nurtured by cynical politicians and wannabe hero civilians?

    • Likely you’ve experienced “Thank you for your service” and will recognize what a seduction that could be if you were just a bit more ego driven, a bit more ignorant, or a bit more of a liar. I certainly have. Gracias, Old Jules

      • Would that be akin to a sense of entitlement they’ve nurtured for themselves? I suppose I had my “15 minutes” and I count it as a colossal blessing that I was able to run as far away from it as I could and was able to flesh out a “real” life for myself somehow, There but for the grace of (choose your Deity) go I, it was quite seductive, I’m guessing that some of the suicidal tendencies, also experienced, put a bit of a brake on it. Imagine if we were all truly “Pro-Life” and vets were an entity that never existed. Humans with their endless wars have a lot of hubris considering themselves as “intelligent beings”……gonna be a big shock to the Species when AI wipes us out for being the cancer that we are on this Earth…..it’s gonna be a hell of a show.

    • Kind of like old football players.

  7. “But what’s more disturbing than our lack of growth and acquired wisdom over the decades, is the fact so many of us evidently are using our stupidity as a launchpad for active participation in the political process.” It keeps me wondering if humans are simply willing participants in the Sixth Extinction process. If you’ve not heard, it’s all about us. Finally! (And the joke is Heavily On Us.) Sigh.

  8. Worse things happen at sea. (My Dad was a navy fella). Anyway as you know I am a NZer. And immigrant. A green card holder. My husband is a Trump supporter. So – well – you can imagine. Anyway, i said to him the other day “If I get sick – I am going home (NZ)” – without raising his head from the IPad, that houses his president and all he understands his prez to be – he said “OK”.
    Point taken. c

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