One of the reasons desertion in the face of the enemy earned a man a firing squad is because that’s where cowardice becomes so contagious.
A private named Eddie Slovik was the only American soldier tried and executed for desertion in WWII. He did it twice. It took just four months to go from arrest to trial to the firing squad.
The Soviets on the other hand were much quicker in dispensing punishment, on the spot, as it were, since they simply set up machine guns behind their men, directed them to charge in a certain direction, then shot anyone who retreated.
It’s a law of human survival:
The more serious the situation the more serious the crime of cowardice for refusing to confront it.
Yeah, but what’s this got to do with a presidential campaign?
A lot actually, for it tells us who the real soldiers are.
Years ago Moses Sands told me about the natural inclination of people when a fight breaks out. First, understand that running in the other direction when someone is shooting at you is a perfectly natural inclination, just as running out of a collapsing building, instead of into it, is also a natural inclination.
But we also know some men are trained to do just that. And that certain situations require that this be done.
It is likewise natural, when a fight breaks out, that the people in the middle duking it out will have very real stakes in the outcome., usually family or honor. Issues of that nature.
The people with no real stake in the fight will sidle off to the side until they see a likely winner emerge.
Oh, they may have sympathies, and these people aren’t cowards by any stretch, but they are all smitten with a tinge of cravenness, for what they most want to do, what most people always most want to be able to do, is to be able to run up the winner, after it’s over, and whisper in his ear, “I was always in there pulling for you, Butch.”
Nobody likes to be seen as siding with a loser, unless it’s your favorite team, and that too, is natural…until the stakes get very, very high.
At the time Moses was telling me this, he was describing George W Bush’s relationship with the American public over his incursion into Iraq, which vacillated quite a bit by the 2004 election. At one time he was 70% up, then later, 60% down. But Bush never wavered.
Then Moses switched gears and used that theme to discuss the far larger crisis America was facing at home; the survival of the republic.
Remember, this was 2004. Moses never lived to know who Barack Obama was, but still, even then, sitting on an outcrop in the Staked Plains of West Texas, he laid out the cultural and political circumstances that could bring forth such a man as Obama…namely a disconnect between the citizen and the survival of the foundations of everything he owned and cherished.
This is not mere politics, and Moses couldn’t understand how millions of Americans, when the survival of their homes and very freedoms lay square in front of their noses, still seemed to want to sidle off to the side and watch it all develop, as spectators.
Moses said that at some point this sort of attitude is no longer craven or lazy, but a kind of cowardice, a fear of confronting threats to core beliefs. And it is self-destructive, as we have since seen.
I’m seeing that same disconnect today with much of the conservative pundit class, and all the political class. Most seem to see this fight for the government in terms of their own self-interests, namely, no matter what happens to the millions of people out here who make up the mass of the citizenry, the Republican Party, and the conservative cause, in that order, they see this as a mere prize fight, which, while they have a preferred winner, they also know they will still be around tomorrow, after the dust settles, win, lose, or draw.
If you want a definition of just what the “establishment” is, this is mine. They have never played for more than they can afford to lose (Steve McQueen), and don’t even know how.
These are cowards and I want them out of our foxholes.
Today we know who the cowards aren’t, for, with the rise of Barack Obama millions of adult people have jumped the wire and rushed into the ring without thinking twice. They have since been beaten black and blue, and as often as not by people who were supposed to be in the ring already fighting for them. Imagine a 65 year-old man rushing o protect his home only to be screeched at by a 30-year old snot-nosed kid from the sidelines, coaching him on how he should conduct the fight, “or get the hell out.”
I’m old enough to remember when male dancers could still be straight, and these sideline choreographers are not men.
Were this a real shooting war, these people wouldn’t get any closer to it than a computer in their basement, making me sometimes wish it were.
You know I’d like to put my fingers on that trigger once again, and point that gun at all the prideful men,
All the voyeurs and the lawyers who can use a fountain pen, and put you where they choose with the language that they use, and enslave you til you work your youth away… (Don McLean, 1973)
Our friend Pilgrim wrote here earlier in the season that it is the WHAT (conservatism) and not the WHO (any particular conservative) in this campaign, as a warning about getting too ugly about any conservative who wasn’t our favorite that week. I agree.
Since August we have watched one after another conservative fall by the wayside, often with the silent condonance of other conservatives. But polls still show conservatives are pretty much sticking together, the “un-conservative” (Romney) still unable to get a clear majority of the entire GOP vote, much less the conservative vote (until Nevada only Saturday).
But with his “sweeping” win in Nevada we’re suddenly warned to get on the un-conservative band-wagon…in a kind of “or else ” tone of voice, which, history shows, suppresses conservative voting more than anything else.
Let me take you back to 2008:
In 2008 a man far more despicable that Mitt Romney ran for president. And Barack Obama was pretty bad, too. I viewed John McCain as the worst human being in America. OK, I was wrong, but not by much. I pictured McCain’s attitude toward me, a conservative, with his boot on my neck…
…with that snarling laugh of his, peeing on my back, knowing I had to vote for him anyway.
And I did.
But 6-8 million Republicans didn’t and we’ve reaped the whirlwind because of it.
I know if the GOP, along with their co-conspiring conservatives pundits, try to put that boot on our neck again, and we triple down in 2012, as we did in 2006 and 2008, we’re finished as a free nation.
So I will have to vote for Mitt Romney if he can win the nomination, and urge every other red-blooded American to do likewise.
The cowards in the foxholes are making this difficult.
Anybody but Obama
But to vote for Mitt Romney is not to support him, either with money or trying to make him look like he’s something he’s not, especially a fair-to-middling conservative as we’re now being advised by pundits, who only want to be on the right side of the winner.
Get on the Romney bandwagon now…or get out! That seems to be the new message among many conservatives. Some of these same people were saying the same thing about Rick Perry in August. Go figure.
If and when Romney can gain the nomination I simply plan to change my tone from “Anybody but the Moderate” to “Anybody but Obama”. I will continue to preach conservatism and national survival with enthusiasm and optimism, for that is where my true enthusiasms lie.
I won’t need to use the faked orgasms of conservatism’s new emasculati,
…in order to vote for Mitt Romney.
If Mitt Romney should get the nomination then defeat Barack OBama, I will throw a three day drunk and dance naked in front of my house until my wife calls the cops. But once that little spree is over, I will go about trying to throw as many conservatives ideas at the president-elect as I can, and through as many means as I can.
As hard as I pushed for Herman Cain, then Rick Perry and now Rick Santorum, I will push for conservatism to insure Mitt Romney promises as many conservatives promises as we can squeeze out of him, and will work to provide an even tougher conservative congressional team to keep his feet to the fire on those promises.
You see, the conservative line is holding, not folding, and I hope to see it stays that way.
Until that time, however, I plan to work hard to see if we push the conservative message all the way to the convention and roll the dice.
Cowards in Foxholes
So you see conservatism’s problem. Cowards in our foxhole, encouraging us to advance to the rear, just so they’ll look good in morning papers the day after the election.
These are men and women who should be fighting for conservatism instead trying to handicap winners just so they can be part of the winning team. It’s still February and only 7% of the delegates are counted, so show a little class.
Left to our own wisdom, as adults, as long time residents of the foxhole, like good soldiers, with courage, conservatives will simply strap on our helmets and charge out of our trenches, in full throttle and battle cry, to defeat Barack Obama, oblivious to the field marshal the war department sent down to lead us…or that army of pissants who stayed back behind the lines to second guess us.
So to all of you who have thrown in the conservative towel without ever yet having gotten your hands dirty, “Get out of my damned foxhole.”
We would not live in that man’s company,
that fears his fellowship to die with us. (Henry V)