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John F. Kerry: "Just Another Goofy Ensign"

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The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam

Noah Cross: You may think you know what you're dealing with, but, believe me, you don't.
[Jake grins.]
Noah Cross: Why is that funny?
Jake Gittes: That's what the District Attorney used to tell me in Chinatown.


Something has been bugging me about "John Kerry in Vietnam" thing. I can’t understand what the whole ANGER thing is about in the press. I can understand Al Gore being angry, Terry McAuliffe being angry and, perhaps, the voters of Florida-- but the press? That doesn't make sense, where's their dog in this fight? They get a story no matter what happens. Now, I know the press wants a Democrat in office, because, well that's just how the press is. Many of its members are in the press because of their spoken desire to "help the helpless, give hope to the hopeless and so on." And this sentiment lines up with the pamphlets handed out by the Democratic party as neatly as do the folds in the back of an issue of Mad magazine. The press has always wanted Democrats in office, that's nothing new. What was new in this election is how they've gone completely batty, and for all possible people, it's for this guy. It's not as though John Kerry hasn't run for President before and gotten nowhere, not even out of the early Democratic primaries. He's been "unwept, unhonored, and unsung" for ages, and it’s not as though he's a stunning member of the Senate, he barely makes any kind of presence. Example? Name one piece of legislature with his name on it? What committee does he sit on? Remember any speech of his, ever? Biden? You can't get the guy to shut up. Bob Dole? He hasn't been in office for 8 years, and he's still talking. But Kerry? He's been a cypher for years.

The press, last December, was laughing at John Kerry and at his chances to win the nomination. Now, they seem deeply offended that President Bush decided to run for reelection. Where it gets weird is to see the same people, who derided Kerry just a year ago, are now willing to "go to the mattresses" for him. So what's the deal between the press and John Kerry? What makes a nice guy like Chris Matthews to want to jump across the table and verbally assault a woman on nationwide TV, just because she disagrees with him? What makes newspaper after newspaper assault anyone who even dares say something negative about John Kerry? Thousands of man hours have been spent "uncovering the truth" about President Bush and the Texas Air Guard, but, on the Kerry-Vietnam story, time is only spent to dig up information on people against Kerry. The press didn’t give more than a glance at Kerry's actual record. If a hint had surfaced that Bush had done with his record what Kerry clearly did, we would be talking about President Chaney chances for reelection now.

There must be more here than just a simple case of "media bias." It is pretty easy to prove a case that the press is no longer objective. What is different from past elections is that it was clear that the press had a bias, but that they still did their job. It might have taken some nudging, but during Clinton years the press did eventually report on Jennifer Flowers, and the Whitewater scandal. But, if something similar were to happen in the Kerry administration, I seriously doubt that they would.

Look at what is going on now at Borders Books. There are three rows of shelves each stacked 14 feet high of books signifying that "Bush is the devil incarnate!" Why have so many publishing companies made an independent decision to give an "OK" to authors, so that these books are printed, shipped and stacked? For as inoffensive a person as George Bush? Really? Does he deserve that kind of anger-- that kind of hate? Anger is a passion on a par with love; you should be suspicious of a source when either emotion makes its appearance.

I sat back, thought about it and then spent some time on the internet. I eventually came across a set of pictures of John Kerry at the 1970 "Valley Forge" rally, known as "Winter Soldier," where Kerry made some pretty rough statements against the soldiers and sailors he had served with. Behind him in the pictures were the usual suspects. But then, I began to pick out a series of celebrities. Celebrities who were new at the time-- up and coming in their careers. While I did this, there was playing on the TV in the background,a documentary, "A Decade Under The Influence." This is the story of the rise of the new breed in Hollywood after the studio system had ended. Many people in the background of Kerry’s pictures were also in this documentary. I was doing digital convergence and didn't know it.

Then it hit me.

Vietnam is where the generation making up most of the press and media decision makers "made their bones." Vietnam established for that generation the moral order. It also was a test of their personal validation. You could not be part of the "new order" if you were for the Vietnam war or even for the soldiers who fought in it. You could not be a part of the “new order” if you felt in any way patriotic towards the US, or even favorable to the American culture. How could you back this country after John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. King, Malcolm X and so many others were assassinated. And people like Richard Nixon went on living?

President Clinton came at a unique time in history. Had a cold war still been going on in 1992, I doubt that Clinton would have been a serious contender. What confirmed that the Cold War was over was that for the first time in thirty years we voters did not measure a candidate against the test of "the button." We all used to do it, It went something like this: "Would you want this guy next to the nuclear button every day?" Clinton’s election is the first time we said, "eh, that's not going to happen anymore-- so what the hell?"

However, the press and the media acted as though Clinton’s election were as important as the liberation of France in 1944, and to people of that "new moral order," it must've seemed so.

When Bush was elected in 2000, it seemed like a shock to the Media that so many people in the US didn't vote for Al Gore. This was so improbable that the only reasonable explanation was a stolen election. What else could it be, no thinking person would actually vote for George W. Bush, can you believe the man actually said--With a straight face! --that Jesus Christ was the most important philosopher he had read? Does he think that's going to get him votes?

This alone would have caused the press to look askance at George W. Bush, but was it enough friction to generate all this heat?

And then, something happened that no one foresaw.

An outside force, for the first time since December 7th 1941, had attacked and killed Americans at home. Only this time, it wasn't at an obscure military base in the Pacific, but was in Manhattan, Liberal, Libertine, New Yorker Magazine-- If you lived here, you'd be home by now-- Manhattan.

For the first time, the generation which had rejected war as a tool of the oppressor, used largely by American business as a club to subjugate poor countries, was itself faced with an enemy that did not differentiate between the military and civilian, between Marines and little girls on their way to Disneyland and worse, between the real enemy and the enlightened masses of Manhattan. This generation was faced by an enemy that wanted to kill us all, left and right, progressives, liberals, men, women; it made no difference to them. The only choice the Jihadi's gave us was submission to Islam, or death. This generation had never concided this dogma in their "Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam." Kill us? Why? We didn't vote for George W. Bush! The Terrorists should have attacked Texas!

The Jihadi's act of violence and insanity shook the world, but no group in it more so than the generation who’s "moral order" was established in Vietnam. "Why do they hate us?" They asked. "It must be our policies." They said, "See! This is a reaction to globalization. This war thing makes no sense, Europeans live with terror, so why can't we? Why - it’s just a pretense for the consolidation of power, THAT'S IT!.....”

One other thing that bothered them was all that flag waving. The US flag, to this generation, was an equivalent to the Nazi swastika and was waved by the same people. I've never seen a Volvo with an American Flag stuck to it. Putting a flag on your car was only for other countries as if to proclaim "I've been there-have you?" That was the way it was in some neighborhoods.

September 11th forced this generation to confront truths that didn't belong in their well-ordered universe. The moral certainty that opposition to Vietnam had provided was pulled away leaving them naked, vulnerable and exposed to something that they could not, or would not face.

That those ignorant people, of whom George W. Bush is just but one, might be right.

This-cannot-stand.

If George W. Bush is right, then the Media might have been wrong about other things for years, which meant they might have been wrong all along about the event that defined their moral order-- Vietnam.

So, why has the press become unhinged and supports John F. Kerry like crazed Moonies? While simultaneously defending their objectivity?

It is as redemption from their sins and for the return to some moral order that they can understand. It is, more important, a moral order where they still sit at the top.

By working to elect John Kerry, they can return to the world where Vietnam was wrong, but they can now say that defense of America is right. By working to elect John Kerry, they do not have to confront their bigotry against their very own country and its countrymen. By voting for John Kerry, they can tell their friends abroad that they need not fear us; that knuckle dragging Republicans are removed from the levers of power, and that men of breeding have returned.

More simply put, by electing John Kerry it allows a generation to escape its malfeasance in the defense of liberty.

Evelyn Mulwray: What were you doing in Chinatown?
Jake Gittes: Working for the District Attorney.
Evelyn Mulwray: Doing what?
Jake Gittes: As little as possible.
Evelyn Mulwray: The District Attorney gives his men advice like that?
Jake Gittes: They do in Chinatown.

Update I: So, I go to bed, thinking its just a piece for little old me and I can edit it in the morning. I wake up in a full on "Insta-lanche" and my unedited peice is now in the hands of over 10,000 internet readers. The lesson here is similar to the lesson the big Media has, "theres not such thing as a closed mike or a camera that off when you are on stage". My Sincere thanks to reader Louis Wheeler for providing his editing services on this piece. My sincere thanks to all whom have visited from Instapundit.

Update II: Christopher Hitchens says that the left has succeeded in doing something Reagan and Kissinger could never have accomplished, the rehabilitation of Vietnam as " a noble cause"! See Wikipedia for "law of unintended consequences".

August 22, 2004 at 01:45 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam

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» The Vietnam Factor from Chaos Central
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» Just about right. from Random Nuclear Strikes
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» like the mad death-wish of a guilty conscience... from Random Jottings
I strongly recommend this piece by Varifrank, The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam. It asks the question: Why is the press, which has never liked John Kerry in the past, now going to lunatic lengths to defend him? ...After looking... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 22, 2004 10:35:20 AM

» like the mad death-wish of a guilty conscience... from Random Jottings
I strongly recommend this piece by Varifrank, The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam. It asks the question: Why is the press, which has never liked John Kerry in the past, now going to lunatic lengths to defend him? ...After looking... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 22, 2004 11:17:12 AM

» like the mad death-wish of a guilty conscience... from Random Jottings
I strongly recommend this piece by Varifrank, The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam. It asks the question: Why is the press, which has never liked John Kerry in the past, now going to lunatic lengths to defend him? ...After looking... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 22, 2004 11:26:56 AM

» like the mad death-wish of a guilty conscience... from Random Jottings
I strongly recommend this piece by Varifrank, The Grand Unified Theory Of Vietnam. It asks the question: Why is the press, which has never liked John Kerry in the past, now going to lunatic lengths to defend him? ...After looking... [Read More]

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» The Right Wing Attack Continues from The Conjecturer
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» Eureka! from Daily Pundit
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» The Right Wing Attack Continues from The Conjecturer
Yesterday, a friend "accused" me of being a Republican Stormtrooper. I think it should be obvious that I'm not, but that's not really the point. I have been particularly anti-Kerry lately, because everything I have learned about him, and everything... [Read More]

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» Make. Them. Stop. from Ed Driscoll.com
Charles Johnson writes, "After inviting George W. Bush to Bring ... It ... On, John F. Kerry is now begging him to Make ... Them ... Stop." There's just one problem, and Kerry knows it: "according to the McCain-Feingold campaign... [Read More]

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» Another Sign Of Media Backlash? from The Moderate Voice
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» Another Sign Of Media Backlash? from The Moderate Voice
Whew! Talk about a pointed editorial. The Los Angeles Times (obnoxious registration required) editorial board not only took a pointed position on the Swift Boat allegations against John Kerry and President Bush's condemnation/noncondemnation (circle th... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 24, 2004 8:26:58 PM

» Another Sign Of Media Backlash? from The Moderate Voice
Whew! Talk about a pointed editorial. The Los Angeles Times (obnoxious registration required) editorial board not only took a pointed position on the Swift Boat allegations against John Kerry and President Bush's condemnation/noncondemnation (circle th... [Read More]

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» Another Sign Of Media Backlash? from The Moderate Voice
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» Denial and Bargaining from Knowledge Is Power: SondraK.com
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Comments

You are so right.

Posted by: Ray Stahl, EA | Aug 22, 2004 8:37:38 AM

Of ocurse, many Americans vote for someone while holding their noses all of the time. Bush or Kerry, they vote for the lesser of two evils.

Problem is, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Why should we vote for evil at all?

Psych Watch

Posted by: SickMind | Aug 22, 2004 8:40:45 AM

This is an excellent analysis! The Bush hatred must stem from the fear he is right to use American power!

Posted by: Davis B. Richardson | Aug 22, 2004 8:53:09 AM

Highly Interesting.

Posted by: Daniel McAndrew | Aug 22, 2004 8:56:21 AM

"Problem is, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Why should we vote for evil at all?"

Because we're adults. And utopia is not an option.

Posted by: JB | Aug 22, 2004 9:10:28 AM

Nice post. But it was not just the VietNam war...there is a tradition of thought going back centuries that feeds these liberal elites. This is not an explicit or conscious philosophy so much as a set of unquestioned assumptions - the water in which they swim. I wrote an extended post on this at http://Wildmonk.net (it is the only article there). I'd be interested in hearing your feedback.

Posted by: WildMonk | Aug 22, 2004 9:14:25 AM

"men of breeding"???

Was it not the last election cycle that we heard that "W" was a faux Texan, having all the blue blood of the WASPy Bush clan, and therefore could not truly lead the masses?

Now, 4 years later, he is a genuine Texas neanderthal and our only hope is with one noble Kerry pedigree.

Posted by: T.O. | Aug 22, 2004 9:30:41 AM

"It's not like John Kerry hasn't tried to run for President before, and got nowhere, not even out of the early democrat primaries."

Actually, this is the first time John Kerry has run for president. I don't know how seriously he thought about running in previous years, but he never actually entered a primary until 2000.

Posted by: Joshua | Aug 22, 2004 9:54:32 AM

Wildmonk: Your reading material is way too small -- like the fine print in a cell phone contract. Maybe you have some good ideas there -- who knows? -- but I'm not willing to risk eyestrain to find out.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.

Posted by: Alan Cole | Aug 22, 2004 9:59:14 AM

I have for a while believed in the premise of this post, but would speak more to the Vietnam era than to just Vietnam itself. That is, the aging left of my generation -- which includes not only the righteous mainstream media, but also the "noble" liberal bench throughout the country -- longs for the days of triumph on great causes. Not just the Vietnam war but civil rights, the environment, and similar were great causes being championed by the enlightened generation. Now, notwithstanding some issues with environmental stewardship, most of these great causes have been resolved or, like communism, been proven false. Consequently, with the election of GWB, the ascendency of Republicans to control of both houses of Congress and, yes, the return of "nazi-like" flag-waving patriotism in the common citizen, the elites see a once-growing power wane to potential insignificance. And they are mad about it (I had the misfortune of catching Chris Matthews the other night. As many in the blogosphere are hinting, Man, I think his head is about to implode!) It is ironic that "liberals" who are supposed to be "progressive" cling so desparately to the past.

Posted by: DaveS | Aug 22, 2004 10:05:02 AM

Bam! You nailed it Varifrank.

Daniel McA -- thank you for applying the appropriate level of adult supervision.

Posted by: devildog | Aug 22, 2004 10:48:36 AM

I was an ex-military (pre-Vietnam) student on the campus of the University of Washington (very liberal) in 1968 and witnessed the political birth of this generation. I have never read a more cogent discription of their evolution. Excellent post.

Posted by: Jim Herrin | Aug 22, 2004 10:48:52 AM

Nailed it. The Me Generation got the candidate it deserves and is only now beginning to realize they're lost in the fever swamps with a history that didn't happen and a guy who can't read a map. It seems the adults were right afterall...

Posted by: Eracus | Aug 22, 2004 10:58:04 AM

Yes, Varifrank and yes, "Wildmonk" Dr. Brittingham! Font size and content on both posts clear and excellent.

Posted by: charlotte | Aug 22, 2004 11:07:08 AM

Does this count?

http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/004867.html

It's a picture of a Volvo with a W 04 sticker in it, of which the American flag is a small part.

Posted by: Brian J. | Aug 22, 2004 11:21:07 AM

that's great! That's like a picture of sasquatch. I wonder what the story is behind that?

Posted by: Frank Martin | Aug 22, 2004 11:27:13 AM

You've inspired me to blog a bit about this. One thought: an earlier generation of lefties, who sided with Stalin, had to pay for their sins in the "McCarthy Era."

They felt aggrieved then, but actually they were lucky--most of them were able to move on, and many became strong anti-communists. Even if they didn't, there was less of a problem of things unmentioned, hanging over them.

Note to Joshua: Most browsers let you adjust text size. At least mine does.

Posted by: John Weidner | Aug 22, 2004 11:34:38 AM

Yeah, and I thought I was the only one who noticed the Left's sever aversion to the American flag.

Posted by: Rayonic | Aug 22, 2004 11:44:20 AM

Hmmm.

"You've inspired me to blog a bit about this. One thought: an earlier generation of lefties, who sided with Stalin, had to pay for their sins in the "McCarthy Era.""

Not really. McCarthy hardly did anything at all. While he might have changed the outward appearances he did nothing to change the underlying causes. The leftists still had, and have btw, a stranglehold on Hollywood. That's why the most famous blackballed entertainers were all those who testified for McCarthy.

This is why today entertainers will fight to claim no association with Conservatism or the Republican party.

It's a strange thing really but the leftist Hollywood is more responsible for censorship than anyone else. Even though Hollywood leftists scream about censorship and blacklisting they are the only ones who actually practice it.

Posted by: ed | Aug 22, 2004 1:21:44 PM

Nice idea, but nope.

The hallmark trait of the hatred for Bush is its irrationality. So to find out the source you only need to look for the topic or issue that makes Democrats the most irrational.

Dems don't display irrational hatred over social security, education, or even the war in Iraq. At least not right away.

The #1 issue for instant irrational behavior is -- you guessed it -- abortion 'rights.'

The Dems are afraid. Afraid George will appoint pro-life judges.

This fear creates instant irrationality because there are twenty-five million women, and perhaps twenty-five million men, who have a past abortion or two they'd rather not think about.

This won't sound silly to those who have had surgery -- an abortion is a primal experience, not easily forgotten.

And that is why we are seeing the kind of hatred that we haven't seen for at least 30 years. Bush is the first president who could actually do something that could touch Roe v. Wade.

The mere thought of touching that sore spot rubs their emotions raw.
-------------------
Visit www.brightwinger.com/blogs

Posted by: brightwinger | Aug 22, 2004 1:21:52 PM

26 more comments posted here, with 510 views so far.

Posted by: Cannoneer No. 4 | Aug 22, 2004 3:19:56 PM

I was here earlier and read the piece but didn't have time to drop a comment. Well done and thought provoking.

I can't believe how often I hear that the news media is NOT biased. It's laughable and pathetic. It's the reason why I seldom read newspapers or news magazines anymore. What's the point - you get only one side of the story and it's completely wrong at that!

Oh and congrats on the Instalanche!

Posted by: Teresa | Aug 22, 2004 5:00:49 PM

Hey! I drive a Volvo and have a flag, Navy Seal, and USMC Seal on my vehicle along with my military/TBS stickers on it. As a Volvo owner, I feel impugned...(As the Captain of my ship for my USNA training cruise probably feels as well, and my father who is a ret. CAPT, USNMC. as well)
:-D. Great post otherwise though...

Posted by: USMC Hoorah! | Aug 22, 2004 6:12:54 PM

Excellent points.

Thanks for putting it all together like you did.

Posted by: Chris Josephson | Aug 23, 2004 3:58:23 AM

Great piece.

Posted by: Prague | Aug 23, 2004 5:30:46 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.