It’s a mean world out there |

It’s a mean world out there

If I were to be polled today, I’d probably still fall into the undecided category. And maybe that’s why I had yet to write a column on the subject of war.

I’ve started to jot down a few ideas that mostly either poked fun at SUV-driving anti-war demonstrators or the cranked-too-tight war supporters. But in each case – maybe because I’ve had such mixed feelings – I had yet to finish a column.

Then last week something set me off. I believe it was the rumor that anti-war activists were calling up military families and telling them their loved ones had been killed in action, and I wondered how was this going to stop the war? How, in the midst of an already horrible situation, does creating more pain and despair help stop the insanity?

That’s when the dam broke, and I wrote my thoughts down so fast I melted two pens down to a sticky plastic mess before the words finally eased back into a trickle.

I hate to break it to the can’t-we-all-just-get-along anti-war groups, but no, sorry, we all just can’t get along.

The world is crammed full of mindless, ruthless thugs who, for reasons no sane person could ever fathom, want to conquer, torture, maim and kill.

And since these criminals can now, just by sitting on a couch in their fortress living rooms with a laptop computer, build a nuclear bomb using the weapons-grade plutonium most countries misplace like the average person misplaces his or her keys, we have to do something.

We’ve had to do something for a long time now. By we, however, I’m talking about more than just Americans. We have to start thinking globally.

The world is a tiny place. Our neighbors’ problems are now our problems, and the minute some of these rabid animals takes over a neighborhood and starts the killing, is the minute the entire population of the earth should step in and slap them down.

That way, these mindless thugs will someday realize though they might control a small segment of pond scum, they never will have access to the big time.

Those who simply feel we should all just meditate in fields of wildflowers, discussing brotherly love while ignoring the horror in the world around us, need to come over to my house so I can slap them around a little bit and then take their wallets. Pacifism works in a world only populated with pacifists.

And now it’s time to turn my attention to the Feces Punters Hunt and Gun Club.

Mindless, goose-stepping morons who have blindfolded themselves with the American flag populate this group, and this country was not created for them.

It was founded by a group of men, some of them the greatest thinkers of any age, for people who search, argue, discuss, learn, tolerate, disagree and participate.

It was not created for the “America. Love it or leave it” herd of citizens. I’m sure the Founding Fathers would look on these Americans with nothing but shame because the country they created was built upon independent thought.

Not only do the anti-war demonstrators have the right to protest the war, they also have the right, if they so choose, to lambaste our troops. And they have this right because we live in America.

We cannot only disagree with each other in this country; we can shout our opinions from the rooftops. We can call our president a moron, and we can do it freely.

That’s why all our past heroes fought and died. That’s the reason for their sacrifice. Not some kind of mindless, follow-the-leader patriotism where dissenting opinions are met with curses, jeers and violence.

That kind of patriotism has led in the past to the murder of hundreds of Chinese immigrants, the interment of thousands of Japanese Americans and the arrest and loss of livelihood of dozens of screenwriters, directors and producers during the McCarthy era.

In the final act, I feel Americans will show their true mettle not only by how we conduct ourselves in postwar Iraq, but also in how we take care of the besieged people in some small country that maybe only exports those fuzzy toilet seat covers.

When some madman who would kill his own children steals power, will we be there to help, or will our government step aside?

If we ignore the suffering, then we might discover our values are as shallow as oil on water. If, however, we are committed to world peace and the sanctity of life for all people, then we will badger, threaten and convince the rest or the world to stand with us against the insanity.

Whether we like it or not, someone has to be the hero. And the United States has its own set of sins for which to atone. Maybe that’s why it’s been time for us to fight.

Columnist Andrew Gmerek writes in this space every Friday.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User