Over the Christmas holidays I watched a mini-series on the Revolutionary War and was (again) amazed at the commitment and bravery of the people who fought to win our independence. (I understand these series are re-enactments, but the people who put on re-enactments strive for authenticity. In fact, in this particular series (on AHC), there were timeouts taken to show the audience that even the holes in soldiers’ uniforms were left ragged, as there were no needles to fix them anyway.)It must have been a terrible war in which to have fought as a soldier. The conditions were wretched – little adequate clothing, few boots or shoes even in the winter, little or no food, lack of shelter, marching long distances in freezing weather. Yet they fought on.
The Continental Army, led by George Washington, was not an army of trained soldiers (until Baron von Steuben arrived after Valley Forge and “drilled” them into fighting shape). They were shopkeepers, craftsmen (Paul Revere was a silversmith), farmers, log splitters, carpenters, brick layers, printers, who believed their freedom was worth fighting for. There were some heroes (one could make a case for them all being heroes), but for the most part, they were everyday folks who were tired of being pushed around. These were people with stones.
Could you imagine the fighting force that would assemble in defense of America today, should one become necessary? Sure, there would be the Armed Forces. As depleted as they are, there are still many patriots in the ranks. Retired military would show up. And some older guys who love their country. But how about the GenXers? The metasex crowd? The politically correct hordes? And the out-and-out assholes who don’t believe in any? How about the shitheads populating the college campuses looking to find a racist under every rock? How about the welfare set; think they’d show up or let the rest of us fight their battle for them? My guess is as long as there is an episode of Jerry Springer on the tube, they’d stay home.
How about if modern-day politicians had run the war?
Imagine if you will, Revolutionary War General PBO (P is for putz) has a contingent of the Continental Army at attention. One of the Americans has just had his thumb shot off in a battle against the British Army and is roundly cussing “the lobsterback son-of-a-bitch who shot me.”
Commander-in-Chief General PBO strolls over to address the fellow: “I can understand your discomfort, young man, but is it really necessary to use such language in referring to a soldier of our friend the King? We must consider how badly the man who shot you must feel and take steps not to demonize the poor man.”
“Ar-r-rg, ar-r-rg,” screams the young man in pain.
“I must say it doesn’t sound as though you are trying very hard to understand the other guy’s point of view. You must take into consideration that this country you are fighting so desperately to create is a foul thing. Founded on avarice and greed, love of property, the pursuit of freedom, all based in laws written to hold you in check – to actually rob you of the freedom to do as you want. Shameful. Absolutely shameful. Do you see what I mean?” PBO asks the Continental soldier.
“Ar-r-rg, ar-r-rg,” screamed the soldier, squeezing the wounded hand to stop the loss of blood. “I’ll kill the son-of-a-bitch,” he yelled for all to hear.
“Well,” says PBO, “I can see you are intent on offending this person. I tried to tell the powers-that-be here in the colonies that giving you people guns was a mistake. All it does is make you want to use them, when as we all know, the best solution to this whole messy business is for everyone involved to sit down and have a nice chat. I’m going to order a PCC to take you away, young man. It’s for your own good.”
“A …a PCC? What’s a PCC?” asks the wounded soldier.
“A Politically Correctness Cop.” Turning to the approaching officer, PBO says, “Confiscate this man’s gun and his offensive uniform, such as it is, remove him from the proximity of the others here, lest he taint their thinking. Prevent him from talking to others. Make absolutely certain he cannot attend religious services this Sunday …”
“Hey, wait just a minute, mister,” says the soldier, waving a bloody stump in PBO’s face. “I have rights. I fought for them and I earned them. And it just boils my blood that some pansy-assed suit can come along and take them away. Are you sure you’re on our side?”
“Whatever made you think I was?”
“Nothin’ in particular.”