Well, it’s plainly obvious that I am a bit lefty – progressive, liberal, whatever you want to call it. But I generally will point out something stupid or silly on the left as well as the right. Today, two little things made me a bit… POed.
- This afternoon on PRI’s The World, a story about two Koreas: not north and south, but young and old. A rally in support of the U.S. was attended by mostly older Koreans, while an anti-U.S. protest was attended by under-30s. I was struck by the incredible stupidity of the Korean college students – just like typical American students who follow a crowd without questioning. The ones interviewed were insisting that all American troops be removed from Korea, giggling while they chanted. There was not a reasoned opinion among them. They complained about “all the deaths” arising from American troops – two girls were killed in a vehicular accident in Korea, and while that is a horrible tragedy, it is hardly evidence of a pattern of American wrongdoing. I’ll bet that these same protesters never wear their seatbelts and there have certainly been far more tragic events involving the ROK army. The main problem, in my opinion, is this: young Koreans have always lived in a peaceful country, with unprecedented wealth and technological achievement. The older Koreans realize that the forces of the United States maintaining the ceasefire are what enabled that economic transformation. Like many young people in America, the Korean teens have no idea what their forebears gave up so that they could live in peace.
- An interview on BBC World News with some of the “human shields” that went to Iraq (in a double-decker bus, no less) to – so they thought – prevent bombing of certain locations. They’ve started leaving Baghdad, saying that Iraq wouldn’t let them do what they wanted. Then one woman, a former British ambassador, actually said that people are starving, etc. etc… “because of us.” Um, pardon me? Saddam Hussein has built opulent palaces, created a royal lifestyle for himself, and WE are responsible for the poverty of Iraqis?
I clearly can’t stand the current administration nor the direction in which they are pushing my country. But I am equally repulsed by people who are not part of the solution, but seek to make a progressive or liberal opinion into a joke. People who bash America because it’s in vogue without looking at the whole picture – from young Koreans to British “human shields” (what a stupid concept) to publicity-seeking celebrities (what the hell weight do we give to the opinions of Sean Penn?!). Toeing a specific line as dictated by your leader – whether it’s a Bush, a Daschle, or a Falwell – without questioning each and every day just makes you conforming, brainless, and not worthy of participation in public debate.