Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for May 28th, 2011

The truth … for honor

Posted by Hube on 2011/05/28

I have to admit, I was a bit — just a bit — apprehensive when Mr. John Hitchcock asked me to join Truth Before Dishonor as a part-time contributor. How come? Simple: I was never a member of the Armed Forces.

That’s not to say I didn’t come this close to joining up at several times in my life.

My maternal grandmother really wanted me to try to get into Annapolis. (For the uninformed, which there are probably very few, if any, among this blog’s readers, Annapolis is home to the United States Naval Academy.) Why did she so desire? Because her first husband, Gene, was a Naval aviator in the 1940s and early 1950s. Unfortunately, when my mother was a mere seven years old, a Naval representative appeared at my grandmother’s doorstep one morning in November, 1952. His news forever changed my grandmother’s — and mother’s — life: Gene was practicing night landings on the USS Roosevelt and his plane (a Corsair, still a propeller plane at this time as this was the era of changeover from prop to jet aircraft) crashed into the Mediterranean. His body was never found. Mom never really got to know grandfather Gene, being that he was overseas so much, and my two aunts (mom’s younger sisters) really never got to know him.

I certainly considered the prospect of going to Annapolis intriguing. As you may know, in order to get in, you must at least get one of your state’s US senators to sponsor you, and only a few (two? I cannot recall) from each of the 50 states are selected. My grades in high school were certainly good enough. So, why not give it a try?

Yeah, why not? Here’s why not: I wanted to fly, just like my grandfather. But my vision sucked. I had begun to wear glasses fairly regularly since 10th grade. And wearing specs is essentially a death sentence for prospective pilots. Ultimately, I decided against Annapolis, settling instead for the University of Delaware.

Also in high school as a senior, a Marine recruiter was almost successful in getting me to join up. (He was successful in getting a couple of my track team buddies to join.) Ultimately in that case, my father got on the phone (because the recruiter called constantly) and told the guy that I wasn’t interested, even though I actually was undecided.

As a college sophomore, I went into the Armed Forces recruiting center on Main Street in Newark (DE) one day to inquire about the Reserves. Unexpectedly, the recruiter was a complete prick, basically telling me to “forget it.” I dunno what the deal was; keep in mind this was the height of the Reagan era when the military experienced a renewed respect and enrollment numbers weren’t an issue. Maybe this dude had already reached his quota. It’s not like I was an undesirable specimen, after all … I wasn’t some Steve Rogers begging to be accepted; I was in good shape. Who knows. Again, maybe it’s because the military had witnessed a new-found respect now that Ronald Reagan was president. It certainly made sense, after all.

Right before college graduation I took one more chance: I went to the Naval recruitment center on North Broad Street in Philly to take their aptitude test. It consisted of two parts — a general knowledge test, which you had to pass in order to continue on, and then a specific pilots test. There were about ten of us there, including a gent wearing a Los Angeles Rams jacket (the Rams were still in LA in the late 80s, yes) which immediately made him a kindred spirit. (If you don’t know from reading The Colossus of Rhodey, I am possibly the biggest Rams fan ever.) He and I were two of only three allowed to continue after the general knowledge test. So, on to the pilots exam. Interestingly, every multiple choice question had a choice “E” which said “I don’t know.” I figured it’d be stupid to always fill that one out if I had even a slight hankering of what the right answer was; I only filled in “E” if I had absolutely no idea of the correct response.

It wasn’t sufficient. After the test, the Navy guy basically told me that I filled in too many choice “E’s,” but that being in a plane still wasn’t out of the question. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I then told him that I wear specs a lot of the time. He was like, “Oh, I see.” But he said that I could still be in a plane — just not fly. I could be a flight officer.

I decided against it. It was tough, tough decision. But … I wanted to fly — do the flying. If I failed at that (and I understood the chances of that were pretty good) then fine, but I at least wanted the chance. I still have regrets about that decision, not only about accepting that I could have flown (just not as a pilot), but that I didn’t experience something like boot camp. I’ve always been intrigued as to whether I’d make it. (As a college graduate entering flight school, I assume I would have gone through an officers candidate program similar to the one seen in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”) I think I could have, and then beyond that …? Who knows.

Nevertheless, I’ve always had the very highest respect for people in the military, past and present — for the simple fact that they deserve it, above just about all others. These are people willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for you and me, and they’re willing to do it for peanuts of a salary and simple, basic living conditions. People who do not understand that, or, simply refuse to, deserve nothing but my (and your) scorn. Period.

Carry on.

Posted in military, Real Life, Uncategorized, Youth | 5 Comments »

Lets Be Pragmatic

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/05/28

Lets be pragmatic so we can be pragmatic because it’s the pragmatic thing to do. It’s what all the cool kids are doing. It’s what all the cool kids have been doing since the 1940s. After all, utilitarianism is king. Pragmatic utilitarianism (a redundancy) is the golden calf at whose altar we all need to bow down and worship. We all have to go along so that we get along. There is no right except for that which the majority of the people accept, so we need to quit holding values that are not majority positions.

OR

We can stand up for our principles. We can be heard. We can take a stand for what’s right; take a chance and stand for principle instead of bowing to outside pressure. What is right is right and it doesn’t matter if you’re the only person in the world standing up for what is right. As my byline says, I would rather be right than popular. And it’s more than a cliche I coined. It’s my way of life. Principles before hedonistic desires. Rejecting the leftist “values clarification” scheme, which is nothing more than values modification, an intentional degradation of morality and elimination of rock-solid principles.

For too long, the Left in the press, in government, in academia have been destroying ethics of principle and replacing them with licentiousness. For too long, the Ruling Class Republicans have been going along to get along as the nation shifts ever leftward, away from what is right and true and proper and towards what feels good today — always forgetting about tomorrow’s consequences. For too long, the RCRs have been telling us we cannot win without them, ignoring the fact they’re playing the gracious loser role.

It’s time for some serious Tough Love. It’s time to tell the pragmatic gracious losers that they cannot win without us and we’re no longer going to go along to get along. It’s time to take Principled stands against the cowardly moral relativists and rescue our country and our values from certain demise. That’s what the TEA Party movement is about. That’s what Glenn Beck’s 912 Project and “We Surround Them” are all about.

If I have a choice between a pro-abort Democrat and a pro-abort Republican, the pragmatists who are pragmatically pragmatic in their pragmatic desires to be pragmatic will tell me the only right choice is the pragmatic choice to pragmatically vote for the pragmatic RCR. Hogwash. I’ll vote 3rd Party. “Oh, but your 3rd Party vote is just a vote for the Democrats.” NO. It isn’t. If I have a choice between a Democrat working hard to send us rocketing toward bankrupt Big Government Central Planning Socialism and a pragmatic RCR who is working to send us more slowly in the same direction, I’ll vote 3rd Party. “Oh, but your 3rd Party vote is just a vote for the Democrats.” NO. It isn’t.

If I have to vote 3rd Party for the next 10 election cycles, I will. Because Principles aren’t principles if they’re so easily sacrificed. They’re desires. Actually worse, they’re dreams not acted upon. But the pragmatically pragmatic people who pragmatically endorse pragmatism for pragmatic reasons will pout and throw temper tantrums if I declare my Principled Tough Love position. Let them pout. Let them throw their temper tantrums. Let them stomp their feet and kick wildly at the air. Forget them.

Here’s the thing about pragmatically pragmatic Republicans: If enough people of principle actually stand up to be heard, and vocalize it (such as writing a political blog, commenting on political blogs, going to TEA Party events) then the pragmatically pragmatic Republicans will start to realize they actually cannot win without us and they will change their positions and actions to fit our Principles. And the RCRs will throw their tantrums and work like the devil to maintain control, to maintain their status as Second Class Central Planners, as they are thrown out of office one by one and a new class of Republican, a Principled class, takes hold.

And that’s the whole thing. Be very willing and able to use your nuclear weapons, as Reagan was, and your foes will surrender, as The Iron Curtain did. The 912 Project and the TEA Party movement are nothing more than an awakened people, a people realizing they are, indeed, not alone, who have decided to — finally — take a stand and say “This far and no further!”

If you take a stand on principle; if you decide you would rather be right than popular; if you don’t bow down to the utilitarian golden calf; if you do this, you will find you are indeed not alone and you and all like-minded Principled people will make a difference. We can win this war (and it is a war) for the soul of this great nation. Pragmatically Pragmatic Republicans be damned.

Posted in Character, Conservative, Elections, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, war | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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