Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What to do with this?

I ran across a blog called The Two Malcontents today. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by it. Since I lost Jason in the war, my heart has opened to the US military in a way it never had before. I have been able to find a connection between my work in peace activism and the US military. I recently wrote a paper about it and presented it at a Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Theater of the Oppressed conference called the Peacemaker's War where I urged activists to look to the people within the military not as the evil enemy but rather fellow allies who get just as confused as we do about effective ways of achieving peace. Coming across this site I guess is perfect timing as it allows me to flush out just how deep these sympathetic roots go. The About Us page explains: "The Two Malcontents" is a compilation of generational US military families who unequivocally support our troops…regardless of where they are deployed.

The site goes on to spout incredibly hateful words about "socialists" and paints the Obama administration as evil. I can see some similarities in theway many leftists talk about the Bush administration. In my personal life, I can find watching Jon Stewart's "Dick Uncut" recent show brings great joy in my life.

While I can empathize with my friends who criticize the Bush administration, the same rhetoric rings in my ears from both sides. I wonder. How effective is this? Jon Stewart, in my eyes, is a hero. He nails the irony and humor of the world daily. And I could see that many conservatives may find it incredibly offensive.

But what is the difference then between Jon Stewart's show and this blog? One thing is for sure: this blog is not funny. And I can't imagine anyone finds it funny. The people writing it are not intending for it to be funny but rather aggressive and critical. Another thing is that Jon Stewart is not attacking Dick Cheney's physical appearance but rather his actions.

In one post, they take one picture of Michele Obama and under it say, "Ugly bow-legged big ass under-bight from hell anti-American Marxist manure Michelle Obama leaving Westminster Abbey"

Wow. What would motivate someone to be so hateful towards this woman? There are no facts about her as a human but rather an attack on her physical appearance. How dangerous to connect someone's looks with their political views. With women gaining more and more recognition politically, it is a tactic being used often. Take the recent attacks on John McCain's daughter Meghan McCain when she came out in support of gay marriage.

And then her rebuttal: (pardon the pun)

While I look to my fellow peacemaking community to find a common ground where the military can be seen as a partner in our work to achieve peace, I am equally losing my patience for hate rhetoric such as this.

Jon Stewart and the leftists can be a rough bunch. I know, I'm part of it. But regardless of what side you fall on, we must all be ever vigilant of the line that gets crossed between critical analysis and hate.

I am from a generational US military family. My little brother died not even a year ago fighting for what he believed in. I respect and honor his memory. And I support our troops. But I do not subscribe to the hate that comes from this blog. I just want to make that clear. For myself.

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