Facebook is aflame now with pros and cons about the Women’s March usually from other women. One particular anti-march picture shows a young blond woman flashing a poster stating “no country for old white men” next to a picture of a crying veteran. The reaction against the woman was a predicted. “How dare she?!” “He fought for her freedom, the spoiled brat!”
The comparison blew my mind because it compares two unrelated issues, although I agree the woman’s poster did not have a lot of thought and certainly an unclear message.
However, why are people equating elderly vets with the women’s march?
The same reason why vets are compared to immigrants. Example: “we have enough money to support illegal aliens but not house our vets!” with the usual accompanying forlorn homeless veteran picture.
Here is a big hint, folks!
How we treat our vets is not related to immigrants. How we treat our vets is not related to the women’s march. Our military fighting and dying for our rights is exactly why Colin Kaepernick is able to take a knee in protest and the blonde can wave her sign in the middle of a woman’s march.
The new norm seems to be when someone does a comparison of a hateful thing, they throw either veterans or serving troops into the mix to make us feel bad about what we are doing or supporting. They are starting to be the social media political puppy dogs, trotted out when we need someone to feel good or bad about something.
In writing terms, this is called pathos, defined as presenting an image or writing to evoke an emotional response and imagination. An example is a picture of a box full of playful puppies to guarantee a happy response.
Using veterans to illicit anger over a situation or political maneuvering simply sucks. Yelling about disrespecting them is a political tool of fakery, and folks are falling for it all over social media. Why, because people drink the red Kool-Aid, fall down the rabbit hole, jump on the hype bandwagon, or do whatever metaphor you want to say. They believe what they see instead of thinking about it past the first emotional gush.
We should support the current military and the vets.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about recognizing the fact that our troops fight for our freedom. We should use that freedom so that we don’t become brainless, pap-eating zombies. Otherwise, the troops’ sacrifices are for nothing.
I’m all about recognizing the sacrifices vets have made and supporting their efforts to integrate back into life, whether that be healthcare needs, social support, jobs, or houses. Hell yes, we need to help them! The government and private citizens need to support them. However, throwing pictures up of crying WWII vets or homeless men doesn’t help. It politicizes and cheapens them.
It reduces them to being nothing but another emotionally charged puppy picture.
Truths vs. Inflammatory Imagery
Vets vs. immigrants. “Fewer immigrants will mean more housing for homeless veterans.” This is the lie. Immigrants working in America and paying taxes support our military complex and the Veterans Administration that goes along with it. In addition, children of immigrants are joining the military, fighting for freedom, and becoming the new wave of vets only to face possible deportation themselves. Do these vets not matter?
Vets versus the women’s march. “No country for old white men.” Okay, even I don’t see how this relates to women’s rights, equality, or even the #metoo movement. The woman’s poster is dumb. We can agree on that. So why are people using this one woman and her sign to defame all the other marchers and what they stand for? Because it makes good press when you put her opposite a crying vet. Focusing on this woman only belittles the movement because people equate the women’s march as being against vets. Nothing is further from the truth.
The truth is women’s rights and the #metoo movement are related to the history of the military in many ways. How about women earning the right to be in combat roles? How about sexual harassment in the ranks that was never stopped or condemned? How about the Navy Tailhook scandal in 1991 where 83 women and 7 men were sexually assaulted? That is why women march. These incidents are reasons why the #meetoo movement gave a voice to women who were or are now victimized in some way. We want it to stop for ourselves and for our daughters. We want to stop a culture that supports sexual misconduct in the streets, the military, the boardrooms, and even the classrooms.
So the next time you see some comparison of the military and a brewing political storm, please think about it. Resist the knee-jerk reaction to hit the like/hate button. Our military men and women deserve more honor and dignity than to be constantly uses as click-bait garbage.
They deserve better treatment than being a political puppy dog.