By Nick Barringer MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS (EIEIO) The Tactical Strength...
Douche of the Week: Chris “The Real Hero” Hayes from MSNBC
Somewhere Michael Moore, Bill Maher, and the Westboro Baptist Church just had a Douchegasm.
Forget that Hayes chose the worst possible day imaginable to show off his Brown University education by trying to opine on the definition of the word “Hero”. Also, forget that his “brilliance” had a special layer of disrespect as he dropped this knowledge bomb on us directly after speaking to a Marine who holds the honored and difficult responsibility of delivering the news of the fallen to their families. Let’s just look at his base contention: hearing the word “Hero” in relation to fallen members of the military makes people want to go to war.
Well, he does have a point. After all, it’s proven in study after study that hearing the words “gay marriage” makes people instantly engage in sex with members of the opposite sex; hearing the words “iambic pentameter” immediately forces us to start dropping some Bill Shakespeare inspired accentual-syllabic verse; and hearing the words “Oxygen Thief Knob Jockey Douchebag” makes us instantly apply for a job at MSNBC.
Oh wait, that’s not right. It actually seems like he has no point at all. We elect politicians and they decide when we go to war. The troops actually have absolutely nothing to do with it at all. We just execute policy. So if Hayes wanted to level his vitriol at President Bush for getting us into these wars or President Obama for having us fight one under absurd rules in Afghanistan, then he should have at it. I may agree or disagree with his contentions, but at least there’d be some reason in them.
Instead he opted to just insult our fallen comrades on Memorial Day for not all dying with an appropriate level of heroism. Maybe he could make a little Heroism-o-Meter for his show and every time we lose another brother or sister he can let us all known if he or she was a real hero or not. I think we’d all really appreciate it.
And yes, after the VFW skewered him, he issued a half-hearted “I’m sorry but you know…you guys just didn’t understand what I meant” quasi-apology, but the fact remains that he is just one in a growing number of self-styled academic elitist bringers-of-truth who do not respect the service and sacrifice of our military members.
For an outsider to our community, it’d be easy to sit there and say that the military is trying to pat itself on the back. They imagine us all sitting around and telling each other how awesome we are as we drink beer and do manly and offensive things. The truth of the matter is so vastly different. I’m not a hero. Tom’s not a hero. 99.9% of you out there wouldn’t ever call yourselves heroes. Hell, the guys who have recently been awarded the Medal of Honor do not consider themselves Heroes.
But those who died, those who literally gave everything, who will never see their families, who will never hold their children, who will never again know their partner’s embrace – these people are heroes.
They paid a price Mr. Hayes would never be willing to pay for this country. I’m sure he’d have a dozen great-sounding reasons why he wouldn’t serve as well: he doesn’t trust the leadership, he’s more valuable somewhere else, he won’t engage in unjust wars, blah, blah, blah. And he will surely have an army of followers supporting him, as they are all over the blogosphere right now, agreeing with his statements. As we speak, they are writing comments citing “facts” that are patently false about our intelligence, our income levels, and our education. They are developing arguments for why Hayes is right, why we are wrong, why anyone who serves isn’t worthwhile or has no other options. If you don’t believe me, please go look at the comments section under any Hayes article regarding this topic on a non-military blog.
It’s easier to do that, to surround yourself with other people who haven’t known service, who haven’t sacrificed, who’d never dream of putting themselves at risk and convince each other that there is a reason why you’re better than other people, than to admit others have experienced something you never will, or God forbid, may be more valuable citizens.
There was a time when men served – when to not serve was deemed cowardice. There was a time when Captain America, the weak little kid who couldn’t enlist because he was too small and sickly but never gave up until he could wear the uniform, was our gold standard of manhood, service, and patriotism.
We all know those days are dying if they aren’t dead already.
It’s been replaced by a small patriotic civilian base who understands the founding principles of our nation and the 0.45%, a shrinking warrior caste that is expected to hold the Fort while much of the rest of the country pushes for their next thrill, next car, next reality TV show, and next pleasure.
And we’re good with that, even as we don’t fully understand it. We’re capitalists. We believe in the American Dream. We believe in Freedom. If that’s what Americans want to do, what they want to care about, how they want to live their lives, then they should get after it.
Three things, though, Mr. Hayes.
1) Wisdom comes from experience. It is comical to watch a man such as yourself espouse any understanding of the word “Hero”. You’ve lived a pampered existence handheld by academic and political elites and have never been in harm’s way.
2) You, being who you are, surrounded by the people you retain, and coming from where you do, will disregard my first point and assume your experience with television, academia, politics, and “big thinking” is in some way comparable. You will want to argue this point citing events throughout history gleaned from books as your own wisdom. You will want to explain yourself further as you see everything as an argument to be won for your “side”. When you get this urge, check the calendar. If it is Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or the Fourth of July, shut the fuck up.
3) Quit being such a fucking douche.