One of the reasons I absolutely love politics is because it affords me no shortage of hyperbole and logical fallacies from which to choose from and make fun of.
On any given day, there’s a wealth of statements and talking points from both sides that gel together in this pool of irony-flavored goodness from which to drink in. It gives us things to talk about, things to make fun of, and things to coalesce around.
It also reminds us that we’re really not very intelligent as a society. The very fact that we accept, fall for, and spend so much time discussing the rhetoric of politics—rather than the substance of politics—will eventually bring about our downfall; as it has to many societies before us. Human beings are really just not cut out for progress, it seems.
But I can’t change any of that. If the best I can do is point out how ridiculous we are as a culture, then I’ll be more than happy to stay in my lane.
So, let’s get to making fun of war.
The GOP is out and about currently defending themselves from the Democrats’ assertion that there’s a “Republican War on Women.”
In the end, they’re not going to be able to convince the American public that there isn’t. Because Americans love war, especially as an expression.
In this day and age, Americans are a bit disconnected from the concept of real, actual war. Unless you’re related to a soldier (or are one yourself), the terrifying realities of war are reduced to third-hand stories that can be easily compartmentalized and stored away without actually impacting your daily life. This is wrong, and it is unfortunate, but it is the reality of a country that hasn’t had a draft in forty years, and which has five hundred channels to choose from if it doesn’t feel like watching the bummer of Americans sacrificing themselves for these same privileges.
I am mindful of this hypocrisy, but I do not enjoy it.
Still, this is the kind of thing that allows us to throw the word “war” around, willy-nilly, as though it wasn’t sacriligeous to those people who go out there and actually fight the wars we put them in. And that is how we got the “Republican War on Women.”
The GOP can deny that they are waging war on women, and they would literally be correct in that claim. So far, I have not seen Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Bob McDonnell, or Dick Cheney pick up a gun and form battle lines against a sea of womenfolk. And that’s probably a good thing for Santorum, McDonnell and Romney, because Cheney has a history of inaccuracy with his aim.
Still, the Republicans deserve to at least have a discussion—if not a battle of words—about whether or not they’ve made it part of their party’s agenda to reduce the freedoms of women instead of addressing their concerns as a part of the electorate. The simple fact is that there has been a lot of legislation, recently created, passed and backed by Republicans, regarding things that affect women, specifically: like legislation on reproductive freedoms, limiting insurance coverage of birth control, defunding Planned Parenthood, and shooting down equal pay legislation as a "nuisance." Also, if you don’t want people to point out that there’s a pattern of anti-women sentiment in your party of choice, it probably isn’t a good idea to run around calling women who voice their concerns about these matters “sluts” and asking them to make you a sex tape. It just kind of begs for a response.
Furthermore, the Republicans should also not pretend that they are offended by the semantics of the phrase “War on…” either. It’s the GOP who, more recently, posited that there was a “Liberal War on Christmas,” and a “Liberal War on Religion”; so they should not be surprised the Liberals are countering with a rhetorical assertion that the Elephants have declared “war” on women and the working class. On some level, you’re going to have to reap what you sow from the Farm of Rhetorical Ridiculousness. Unless there was some sort of news event I missed in the last twenty years where a tactical nuclear strike was made on Santa’s Workshop, I’m going to have to let the fight go on.
In fact, let’s just go ahead and continue to beat this dead horse of semantics. We’re a war-like people; so let’s declare a few more wars and maybe we can find some common ground between the parties.
I am suggesting the following:
The Bi-Partisan War on Texting: Liberals, so I’ve heard, are all about the government getting all up in your business, so it’s only natural that they offer up legislation in every state to impose stiff fines on texting while driving. Republicans, on the other hand, are always complaining that legislation is too long to read. So, we’ll have Democrats propose anti-texting-while-driving legislationin every state, and ALEC and the Koch Brothers can hire their “brother from another mother” Herman Cain to write the bills in shorthand so it doesn’t amount to more than three pages.
No H8ing. U No its a good ID-A.
The Bi-Partisan War on George Lucas: Lucas has hurt all of our feelings messing with Star Wars every ten years. For once, I’m backing the conservative ideology of legislation aimed at preventing the rape of the halcyon days of yesteryear. Let’s start enacting legislation to stop him from messing with our childhoods. And, if you eventually wanna black-bag him and throw him in Guantanamo with an angry Wookiee who wants to rip his arms off, I think we can all agree that’s a good idea at this point.
The Bi-Partisan War on “War on”: All jokng aside, if we were really going to launch a responsible, concerted effort as a government, and as a people, towards anything, it would a good idea to slow down and bring a little sanity and common sense back to the way we discuss our issues. This means politicians, pundits alike should not be using the media merely as a sounding board for catch-phrases and bumper-sticker rhetoric by declaring “war” on everything. This means patiently explaining, and listening, and discussing our problems intelligently, and with solutions—rather than daily media victory—as the endgame. It means the public being responsible with information they’re receiving. It means sometimes, as in war, you have to admit defeat.
But we’re not going to do that. Not in this day and age. Not because I said so, or because anyone else does, either.
In America, it must be “war,” all the time.