Sunday, August 21, 2005

Holding Back The Years

Coming from an academic environment where the Left rules supreme, I have always found their cloying condescension in political matters to be extremely annoying and often hilarious. Pauline Kael's bewilderment over Nixon beating McGovern: "How can that be, she reportedly asked, I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon."

The astonishing narcissism and intrinsic elitism displayed in a comment like that shrieks of condescension and unquestioned feelings of superiority.

Those same endearing qualities can be found in the antiwar Left's carefully crafted framing of American soldiers. One might refer to their strategy as the" infantilization" of the military". It is, of course, a subset of the rampant infantilization stereotypes that the minions of the Left project onto all sorts of groups, effectively relegating them to the status of children who must be closely guarded lest they do something stupid and/or dangerous.

Naturally, this leads to the firm belief that members of such groups lack moral, intellectual, or physical maturity -- or all three. According to this image, the children are too irresponsible to make correct decisions; too immature to be permitted to act on their own and therefore must remain dependent on the "more mature" and superior elites for guidance to live their lives or even to survive.

American Blacks have had to live with stereotyping of this sort for a long time. The epithet "boy" remains as a vestige of the infantilization of the slave in the "paternalistic" South.

In the same manner, women before the liberation movement of the 1960's were often called "baby," "girl," "honey," and "sweety." Again--as any modern-day feminist can tell you--a remnant of the "paternalism" of American society.

The Left objects stridently and aggressively to these kind of paternalistic stereotypes.

But they appear to be incapable of appreciating the maternalistic stereotypes that they favor instead, which have as their goal exactly the same control and power over others that were objected to in the paternalistic stereotypes.

And both are equally insulting when directed at an adult.

Mark Steyn has this to say:

They're not children in Iraq; they're grown-ups who made their own decision to join the military. That seems to be difficult for the left to grasp. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing.

I get many e-mails from soldiers in Iraq, and they sound a lot more grown-up than most Ivy League professors and certainly than Maureen Dowd, who writes like she's auditioning for a minor supporting role in ''Sex And The City.''

The infantilization of the military promoted by the left is deeply insulting to America's warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd's purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that "of course" they "support our troops," because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.

"Good Mother Sheehan trying to protect the poor children" as well as "Evil Father Bush forcing the poor children to go to war in Iraq" are both variations on the same infantilizing maxim.

The Left's antiwar strategy of condescension and infantilization mouthed by FEMALES (of any color or sexual persuasion)is hardly an improvemnt over those attitudes when used by those infamous WHITE HETEROSEXUAL MALES.

Grown-up adults do not need either Mom to protect them or Dad to tell them what to do. They make those decisions on their own for their own reasons. Sometimes their decisions have nothing to do with either of their parents.

Holding back the years
Thinking of the fear I've had so long
When somebody hears
Listen to the fear that's gone
Strangled by the wishes of pater
Hoping for the arms of mater
Get to me the sooner or later

Holding back the years
Chance for me to escape from all I've known
Holding back the tears
Cause nothing here has grown
I've wasted all my tears
Wasted all those years
And nothing had the chance to be good
Nothing ever could yeah

I'll keep holding on

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