By now I suspect most people are aware of tweets from Michael Moore and Seth Rogin. Perhaps Moore’s rant is simply shrugged off as predictable drivel from a despicable man, and Rogin is dismissed as just another idiot actor. But how about this from Howard Dean, who not so long ago was thought a serious Dem presidential candidate and more recently was head of the DNC, credited by his party for a major role in Dems capturing both houses of Congress during his tenure? Or this from Mike Taibbi at Rolling Stone? (After the UVA “rape” story you’d think that rag, I mean mag, would want to slip beneath the radar screen for a time. But so it goes with sanctimonious lefties; they are possessed of a humility equal to that of Las Vegas side alley street whores.) And no defense or expounding of liberal thought would be complete without the obligatory wisdom from academia. What’s most amusing is that this fellow professes HE NEVER SAW THE FILM! (Can you imagine the derision that would be heaped on a conservative voice that criticized say, SELMA, without ever seeing the movie? And by the way, that criticism would be deserved. )
So why now? Liberals haven’t always been this exorcised about movies featuring snipers; there was no liberal hand wringing over Barry Pepper in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, and the left had nothing to say when Jude Law was popping Nazis in ENEMY AT THE GATES, to name a couple of fairly recent examples. Why then are liberals rushing to the barricades in this instance?
One obvious answer is that the film doesn’t augment or pay homage to the prescribed liberal narrative which must include some or all of the following elements: Iraq War bad, Americans were an occupying force; war dehumanizes US soldiers turning them into mindless killers or psychological basket cases, no WMD, Bush lied, war for oil, big business made a fortune, or the morality in the conflict is just a matter of point of view. I’ve likely missed a few, but you get the drift. Still, while this is part of the reason for progressive fury, I don’t believe it is the entire answer.
Nothing is so feared by the left as the projection of American military action, save the notion of that applied force and all the sacrifice it entails being accepted and condoned by a majority of our citizens. I am not suggesting that this idea has occurred consciously to liberals; the repercussions are too broad, too far reaching for that. This fear is unspoken, etched, as it were, in their philosophical DNA.
The lion’s share of the great success the left has realized in the US during the last 50 years has occurred because of the sacred appreciation they have for force — as Glenn Reynolds says, “Scratch a lefty, you find a totalitarian” — and their practiced ability to delegitimize its use when it comes from the right. The complement to this continuing effort is what progressives most fear, what poses the greatest threat to their ascendance: force from the right being lionized; heroes from the right being elevated; military action being revered.
The erosion of legitimacy in the exercise of conservative force began with Vietnam War protests, in that instance culminating in street riots during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago where Mayor Daly’s cops reacted violently. (Democrats no longer have use for the likes of the late Mayor Daly, and none of his kind remain in the party.) Coupled with the shameful behavior and excesses of white racists in the South, Chicago, Boston, etc. during the ’60’s, the result was exercise of conservative muscle took a hit from which it has yet to recover.
Note, it’s not that power or force has been lessened or diminished, but only that part of it which the right is allowed to use. Think of force as a finite thing. It cannot grow, but it can be apportioned. And since the power used by the right has been successfully painted by lefties as corrupt or incompetent or evil, then, naturally, more of it must accrue to the left. In order to do that there has been a fostering of regulations, a different education for our youth, an attempt to disarm our citizenry, to name a few high profile items. A further part of this can be seen in the growth of multiculturalism and the rise of the idea of moral relativity. Both these things came out of the ’60’s and both are an attempt to neuter or destroy American heroes and devalue American culture, for our past is too rooted in the exercise of conservative power, the use of guns by “angry white men,” and all thinking lefties realize that has to be diminished, eroded or erased.
Obviously, the progressive movement has not achieved total domination. (Is anything more fun than listening to an academic shred his garments and tear his hair while caterwauling about American gun ownership?) However, I would argue they’ve cut off one of our testicles and are well positioned to amputate the second. For the left, aware of their position, nothing poses so great a potential to reverse the tide as the nation once again worshiping our martial heroes, especially in fighting a war liberals don’t sanction.
The left’s ascendance began with its demonization of the American military during and after Vietnam, and to a greater extent than is generally imagined their present position and future rise depends on their ability to control the narrative of how we view, what we think of our men and women in the armed services. If they lose that story then who knows, in time we could see an effect in our schools and legal system; we could see real freedom in our markets and economy; we could see store owners shooting looters and arsonists without fear of prison; we could see jihadists tamed; we could even see mullahs hanged in Tehran and the rise of a new Persia that would alter the entire dynamic in the Middle East.
The left has much to fear from hero worship of our soldiers…And at some level, all progressives realize this. The right has a chance yet to prevail and triumph, and that chance begins with the guns that bestowed our creation and have since then kept us free. Therefor, for the left, AMERICAN SNIPER must be destroyed.