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Friday, December 31, 2021

Let Brandon go.

 As young soldier who roamed through West Germany in the late 1950s, I was always aware of a dispiriting aspect of the landscape.  Part of that came from the gloom of the Rhine River valley where I was stationed.  My unit landed there early in December and we didn't have a sunny day until mid-January.  I experienced fogs so dense that men would get totally disoriented and lost when they got ten or fifteen feet away from a building.  Another aspect was that bombed ruins were left in place as reminders of World War II.  

Near the town where I was stationed were the remains of a bridge over the Rhine River that had been blown apart.  Our cadre who had served in Germany during the war were not  sure whether it had been bombed by allied air forces or by the Nazi forces to impede the invasion of allied armies during their final push into Germany.  Or both.  The bridge remains were guarded by the Bulgarian labor service, which was composed of refugees who had left their homeland to escape Soviet rule.  The bridge remains were guarded to prevent tampering and injury to people who might venture into them.  In addition to the bridge ruins, the countryside was dotted with the remnants of pillboxes, concrete-bunkers placed throughout the land used as guard houses and gun emplacements.  The Nazis used them to maintain surveillance over the local people.

Those remnants of war served as  reminders of one of the worst atrocities in the history of the world that had taken place on that land, the Holocaust.  One was constantly reminded of humanity at its worst, its ultimate degradation.  A German student said the ruins were left "so we would walk in shame."

The United States is doing its shame walk.  Instead of war ruins, it walks among the graffiti of juvenile belligerence.  The democratic environment is littered with the phrase "Let's go, Brandon."  When Jared Schmeck received a call from President Biden during the annual Santa tracking event sponsored by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, he wished the Bidens a merry Christmas and then said "Let's go, Brandon," the code words for "Fuck Joe Biden."  Partisan politics is, of course, at issue in this occasion, but the offense goes much deeper.  Christmas is a Christian based holiday, but it has become accepted among many cultures and religions for its essential message of peace on earth and good will toward all people.  When Schmeck confronted the President with a message of "Fuck Joe Biden,"  he was rejecting the offer of peace and good will with a display of malice and disrespect.

The troubling part is that Mr. Schmeck and people of his ilk are too stupid and ignorant to understand what he did.  In the tradition of Donald Trump, he chose to be mean of character and malicious of mouth, and to violate all that Christmas stands for.

Then, on the local level, this occurred:

The Winner Advocate, South Dakota weekly newspaper, with a banner headline saying "Good Christian Men Rejoice" puts a photo top center with a man holding a sign that contains the code words for Fuck Joe Biden.  One must acknowledge the effectiveness in the mockery of the spirit of Christmas.  Ill will and hostility prevail, and the most fundamental premise of Christianity is shown to be a fraud.  As one of my colleagues who retired to another state put it, "Let's go South Dakota!  If you're mean and hateful, this is the place for you."

When such messages appear on the front page of a newspaper as a Christmas greeting, the moral discord obliterates any claims to good will.

One cannot escape what the utterance of the phrase says about the people who utter it.  It is the expression of juvenile belligerence, the seething mindless tantrum of mentalities that will destroy everything around them if they do not get their way.  It is a phrase that denies all the positive traditions of American democracy,  It is the slogan of its failure.

Obnoxious.  Deranged.  Perversely stupid.  It signals the possibility of America's future as it confronts us as we walk in the shame of it.

Is America intellectually and morally strong enough to let it go?


Anonymous said...

Amen. A woman. For 2022, a new model must be adopted. One that embraces and celebrates everything we imagined it being like as small children. Then, the followers will realize their way is obsolete and will have no choice but to follow our lead.
I can’t imagine our leaders proudly insulting our very own president with such sophomoric profanity if my dad was still alive. It is literally something I cannot stand to ponder; the immense shame and sadness I would feel seeing my dad slowly take in the insult. It makes me cry and makes me want to somehow go shield all of our elders to protect them from learning how the country they love so dearly has debased itself.
The new model must demonstrate the strength of kindness and intelligence, leaving the weak man’s interpretation of strength, which is rudeness, looking incredibly foolish.
While creating a reality we once only dreamed could be possible, the simple minded trump bums will get lonely and be forced to ditch their gutless signs and come running to the fore to join us.
Happy New Year
All Mammal

Jerry K. Sweeney said...

America First Republicans would undoubtedly take offense if confronted with: Love it or leave it? The suggestion that complaining about the mote in another's eye whilst ignoring the beam in their own is beyond their ken. Self-deportation is the option they reserve for their opponents.

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