Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Conervatives are not pro war and anti peace

Despite what the liberal press will have you believe, conservatives are not pro war and anti peace. More accurately, many conservatives believe that the best way to obtain peace in some rare instances is via war.

When I hear anti-war liberals carrying that infamous symbol of peace, and shunning every time a conservative politician is mentioned because, "those guys don't want peace," I shutter. I shutter because we conservatives do to want peace, we just sometimes believe in a different strategy to obtaining peace.

My dad and I have had this discussion just this past winter as we were both sitting on the back porch of his Florida home. We reminisced about how wonderful our lives are, and how wonderful it is to simply sit here and enjoy the warm, refreshing breeze. Because of the sacrifices of our fathers, we able to enjoy many moments in our lives that even our grandpa couldn't have even dreamed of.

Dad is retired and lives the life. He gets up in the morning and golfs for a living every day, and then he has happy hour amongst his wife and all his friends (and family if one of us kids is visiting), and then has dinner and goes to bed only to do it all the next day. Every day is not unlike the one before. "And I'm happy," he tells me often.

I tell him how happy I am. How wonderful my life is. How stress free my life is except for a few rare occasions when work gets busy, or shit happens, I have it made. I'm not rich by no means, as ever was my father, but I have my priorities straight. And I'm frugal with my money. And I smell the roses often, as per that old classic poem.

Life is great. However, I am aware it wasn't always this great. I've heard stories of how my great-great grandfather had to travel across the state by wagon pulled by oxen to Shoreline with his family because he knew he could find work here. These men back then were farmers who lived off the land, built their own homes, and pretty much made everything that went into that home. Those people worked hard from sun up to sun down. There was hardly time to smell the roses.

So here dad and I were, enjoying that refreshing breeze. I was on vacation, away from my job as an RT, which isn't really stressful at all except for on occasion. Heck, I'm blogging right now from work. What a job this is, hey. This is the reason our great grandparents worked so hard, sacrificed, knowing that they would have little time to actually enjoy what they were working/fighting for. Now we get to enjoy often what they gave us.

We don't have wars often. And dad told me that he thought war was stupid. I agreed. He said that life is so precious and so fun and enjoyable, that he just can't understand how people could want to take it from other people, let alone themselves. I agreed. He said it's stupid that people fight over religion. I agreed. He said it is stupid that people fight over land. I agreed. He said it is stupid that people can't just shake hands and get along; to stop and smell the roses.

I agreed.

"To be honest with you," my dad said, "While I have a preference who runs our country, all that really matters is that they don't take this away from me." He was referring to his ability to enjoy life; to be happy. And this perhaps explains why I never saw him sweat it at election time. "As long as they don't take this away from me, I'll be happy."

However, we both decided that sometimes war is a necessary bad. You have people out there who don't appreciate life the way we do, and we need someone to protect us from those thugs. It is not our fault that they are trained from birth to destroy people who don't agree with their politics or religion, but we sometimes have to feel the brunt. That is what happened on 9-11.

We were so relaxed on that day, so busy smelling the roses, that we turned a blind eye to those who wished to kill us. In fact, my eyes were so blind I didn't even know what a Muslim was until 9-11, let alone that there were radical Muslims who wanted to kill every last one of us because we are not Muslim, or because we backed Israel. "How stupid," I thought when I found this out. "How stupid."

I hoped and prayed that we didn't have to go to war with them, as all good Americans did -- even conservatives. We do not want to see our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers injured or killed by another stupid war. But we can't be wusses. When there are no other choices, war sometimes is the only option; the only way to change the minds of thugs. However regretful it is to say that, it is true.

A coworker of mine said one day after I arrived at work that she thinks that we have it made so easy here in the U.S., that we have seen so few bad things in our lifetimes, that we have forgotten how to fight. And, she said, that even if a man like Hitler were to rise again, she wondered if we'd have the will or the desire to rid the world of him.

I'm not sure I feel the same way necessarily, but I see what she means. I see it every day when I hear people in Washington belittling the war effort, and everything our troops over in Iraq are trying to accomplish. I think that my friend is right, that many of us Americans have become wusses. I'm not just talking about democrats, but many republicans too. We have lost our nerve to fight when the need arises. Sometimes we even forget how to be vigilant.

I just want my fellow readers to know that I am not pro war, anti peace. We conservatives (or whatever the heck we are) do not want war like every other good person does not want war. However, sometimes the thugs leave us no choice but to go to war with them -- unfortunately.

My point is that conservatives hate war and want peace just like all the rest of the good people of this country, but we are also not willing to turn a blind eye to to those who wish to take away what our fathers, our forefathers, worked so hard to obtain. We do not choose to take it for granted.

We have not forgotten that our history was shaped by war, and that war is something that we need to at least consider in certain situations. Sometimes just the idea of maintaining a valiant military, or of building up arms, is a good enough method of deterring others from messing with us. Sometimes, though, we need to strike. We hope those instances are far and few between, but we need to be prepared and willing just in case the need arrives.

So, when I see that infamous symbol of peace carried around by the anti-war crowd, I tend to think along the lines of, "I want peace too."


Nikki said...

I once heard it said that the opposite of war is not peace. Peace is not obtained by lack of conflict, there is a much deeper meaning. There is no peace in America. There are murders everyday. There is crime and we lock our doors so no one breaks in a threatens our families. There are carjackers, drug dealers and thugs that want to take what we have here on our own soil. There is no peace in America even without war, we still have internal conflicts. Times like you have with your dad sitting and talking one with another are times of peace. But too often and too few recognize those moments. great post! :)N

Freadom said...

You are absolutely correct, and right on key with my point. Not only that, but our gov. can make laws that take away our freedom, and the Supreme Court can approve of bad laws and make them legal. Plus the gov. can raise our taxes, which also can effect our peace by forcing us to spend more time at work instead of smelling the roses.

Most people, IMO, try to avoid conflict; try to live in good neigborhoods so they and their children can live in peace. We can do that in America. All we ask is that those thugs you mentioned (and the Fed) don't bother us so we can continue to live in peace.

I disagree with you that there is no peace in America. I look around and I see peace all over. I see peace right here now at my work. I see kids running around my neigborhood all day. I see people grilling out, and families packing their campers. All these people are at peace.

DB said...

Great, great post. I, and I think a lot of Americans can relate to your story. Many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy the great life that America has to offer. I am one of those "pro-war" (terrible term) liberals* who understands the need for war and supports Bush in this one. I believe we should try diplomacy first and use war as a last option, like any other logical person, as I feel we have. But it became time to use force and we did.

My only issue with conservatives is when they refuse to take a different look at how the war is going. I agree with McCain when he said it is being poorly managed. I think this poor management gives fuel to the anti-war crowd making it even harder for conservatives to admit the war is being poorly managed without looking weak. So in effect, nothing changes and we keep going down this same ugly path. Even I am finding myself going closer to the fence on this issue because of how it is being managed and how those calling the shots will not admit it. This is the conflict of our time and we need to defeat those who threaten our way of life, but not at the cost of losing who we are.

*liberal-my stances often contradict this stupid two sided philosophy

Freadom said...

Like you I hate the term "pro war." It makes it sound like we like war. I agree that every means needs to be tried before resorting to war.

I also hate it when people say that America is responsible for tha damage in countries that we attack. The Iraqi's, for example, are the ones who allowed a thug to rule over them for years, not America. Saddam is the one who did nothing about the terrorists who were living in his country, not America. Saddam tortured his people, not America.

I think a lot of liberals are frustrated because they actually believe it is possible to create a euphoric nation, and when 9-11 happened, and the U.S. responded, that dream was halted. Conservatives are more realistic (and some democrats like Lieberman), and they knew all along perfection was not possible, and they were the only ones prepared to deal with the terrorists. That's why the democrats get so upset that we are spending billions of dollars on a war, when we could be spending that money on domestic issues. They actually believed that world peace was possible if we didn't go to war, and they think if we stop the war that everything will be hunky dory.

Yet, at the same time, Conservatives would have preferred for Usama to have left us alone on 9-11, and then we could have continued our long period of peace. But, unfortunately, the thugs had other plans.

Khaki Elephant said...

A bad peace is even worse than war.
-- Tacitus