The bugle sounds on days like December 12th, 1945 and September 12th, 2001, and American’s from all walks of life put aside the self, stand up straight, and answer the call to defend our homes, the neighbor’s home and democratic way of life many today take for granted. In retrospect, following the era, we may question the larger motives, or the eventual cost in blood and treasure, nevertheless, those willing to set aside their 1st world comforts for the darkened unknown, should in turn expect, at the very least, leaders with at least some piece of skin in the game. Without eventual accountability for the blind willingness of the masses, taking advantage of this patriotism, to send these men and women across oceans to fight and possibly die, without accountability, the day may come that the sound of the horn goes unanswered?
It occurred to me while catching up on the farce that is our current presidential election cycle, that the major party candidates remaining represent this malaise of indifference and unaccountability. They are both vying for the Commander in Chief position. One, Mrs. Clinton, supported and gladly authorized an inevitable war with Iraq that was, predictably, I’m comfortable saying, a unmitigated disaster, the blow-back from which the world will be suffering through for decades to come. Couple that with her support of the Libyan debacle and other policy decisions while running the State Department, doesn’t make her a criminal, yet should disqualify her from the Presidency full stop. And Trump! Fuck, don’t even get me started. This ignorant blowhard shouldn’t lead a troop of Boy Scouts, let alone a military apparatus capable of literally extinguishing the human race! All politicians are phony, especially those running for national office, but not all politicians are pathological liars the likes of the Donald.
I’ve lived the last 10 years in gradual declining mental health, do in no small part to my service to the country as an Army Infantryman following 9/11. If I were to single out a slice of that service and attribute my struggles to it, my part in the initial invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 is hands down culpable. In my head I could rationalize the initial mission in Afghanistan as just, however, Iraq is unjustifiable. Many of us grunts knew it, even if we did our best to gloss over the truth. The thought of Donald Trump willingly reverting to the horrors of that era, from his rhetoric on torture to his apocalyptic vision of the Muslim world, truly frightens me for future generations of young men around the world. Hillary isn’t a whole lot better, but I do trust that she would avoid war simply for the sake of war. Something tells me she’s become immunized to the reactions of a thin skinned person?
I don’t even know what compelled me to write this today? There seems to be so much out there describing the train wreck that is Donald Trump. Maybe it has a little to do with how the medias coverage of the election tries to normalize the contest? What I see, as a big fan of history, is how not normal it all is. The realization that both candidates will say almost anything to win a few more votes is a normal election contest like WWE is just boxing with fewer rules. I’ve been looking for a reason to not give up completely on my future someday, with enough work, getting back to pre-Army normal. Could the 2016 election cycle be that reason? Could the FOMO of Trump being inaugurated in January, and the effect that could have on the world be enough to hang in a bit longer? For tonight at least, I can’t seem to avert my gaze.
My question was: we sacrificed for this? Was this the prize so many fought and died for? As hard as it is to admit, it is exactly what so many gave so much for, as disappointing as the current result seems to be. America will be able to do all the things we freely do, no matter the intellectual cost, support whomever they please, say whatever they want and march on to the drumbeat of reality TV because my Grandparent’s helped destroy the Nazi’s and the Empire of Japan, my Father clashed with the Communist’s, and I, well, I hunted terrorists.