Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Tired of "chicken-hawks"? How about "bear-bulls"? 

Tired of all that "chicken-hawk" thing? You know how it goes - George W Bush spent his time in National Guard playing cards with his mates, while John Kerry bled in Vietnam, ergo Bush doesn't have any credibility on defense issues, and only Kerry's got the moral right to send our boys and girls in uniform to risk their lives overseas. Repeat the exercise inserting the names of your other favourite bellicose right-wingers who have never heard a shot fired in anger. Then repeat some more.

Makes for nice politicking, but shouldn't the left at least try to be consistent? How about this radical idea: only people who have contributed to economy in productive ways (creating jobs, growing businesses, making inventions, etc.) have the right to credibly speak up on economic matters. As for the others, people who "made love, not jobs" - let's call them (to borrow from the stock-market jargon) the "bear-bulls".

You know who you are - you, Mr Kerry, who have spend your entire post-university working life as a lawyer and a professional politician (not that I'm picking on public prosecutors, but their input into making American economy stronger is zero). Or you Mr Paul Krugman, the professional academic whose great contribution to private sector economics was as a consultant to Enron.

Feel free to go on, but you get the drift - having chickened out from serving the American economy and their fellow Americans in practical, productive ways, the "bear-bulls" nevertheless aren't to reticent about coming forward and telling everyone else how the economy (and their lives) should be run.

Do I believe this is the way public debate should be conducted? Jokes aside, no. It might make for cheap laughs and good point-scoring, but it doesn't make much sense when you actually look closely into it. Take the "chicken-hawk" tag again and then have a look at the actual war-time performance of the Commanders-in-Chief. Lincoln and FDR, no military experience, great war-time presidents. On the other hand, those who have served their country in uniform, all the way from Grant and Eisenhower, to JFK and Bush Sr - well, make your own comparison and own judgment.

Then remember other crap arguments the left makes using similar logic - only gays people can write gay history, only women can write women's history, etc. (and isn't it funny how the left doesn't defend the logical extension of this argument; only men can write men's history, and so on) - and you'll have one more reason to shrug your shoulders the next time somebody brings up the "chicken-hawk" argument. But if they do, feel free to hit them back with "bear-bull."


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