Friday, July 24, 2015

John McCain vs. Trump

The Senator is a war hero because as a Navy pilot of his rank he was exempted from flying above a certain parallel in attacking North Vietnam. Obviously defenses near Haiphong were better and flying further North was more dangerous. He declined the privilege of flying in more relatively safe areas only and was shot down. Yes, his behavior in captivity plays some role in his being considered a hero, but it starts with his willingness to take risks in the attack. Trump on the other hand plays on feelings of anger and humiliation while seeming to lead people into more dangerous areas.

Friday, July 03, 2015

About that Flag or Why We Put the E in Robert Lee's Name

The Declaration of Independence has something in it about justifying war with England. An ideal had not been recognized. Thus wars happen. General Lee's men fought, killed and died for their view of an appropriate cultural order. After he surrendered though there was peace. He was a gracious loser in the conflict. So the battle flag of the Confederacy can express an attitude of being willing to stand up for what you believe in. The legacy of Robert E. Lee doesn't authorize however a private war against black people. The flag symbolizes being able to lose a conflict, possibly even graciously.