The Bitter Left's 'War on Tillman' Continues
While reading at The Adventures of Chester, Chester noted an entry at the Blogs of War that refers to a discussion at the Democratic Underground ripping venomously into Pat Tillman. (Again or still? I am not sure if I can discern which.)
BeliefNet selected Pat Tillman as Most Impirational Person of the Year for 2004, even though he came in only fourth among on-line voters, behind Medal of Honor Candidate Marine Corps Corporal Jason Dunham, quadrapalegic actor Christopher Reeve and Pakistani rape survivor Mukhtaran Bibi.
His selection has apparently revived a hatred for Tillman. But if you do not understand that the vile hatred and venom spewed at the memory of Pat Tillman is in reality directed at American patriotism, then you are not paying close enough attention to what I call The Bitter Left.
The Bitter Left, as evidenced by the likes of many at the Democratic Underground (as well as far too many in the 'mainstream media'), do not love America for what it is, or for what it ever was for that matter. They love what they want it to become. When most Americans say they 'love America', they think of the freedom of self-determination and free enterprise and freedom of (not from) religion. When The Bitter Left says they 'love America', it seems they think of a vast plot of land with trees and mountains that, if only for a better form of government and taxation mechanism, would surely be the utopia the rest of us are just too blind to see.
Pat Tillman's selection as 'Most Inspirational Person of the Year' by a web site that most have never even heard of has ironically 'inspired' The Bitter Left once again.
Pat Tillman just up and left the NFL and a 3 year contract worth more than many of us will earn in a lifetime. He left the glory of an NFL player's life. He left the fame so desperately sought by so many that they will make absolute fools of themselves on national television for a fleeting glimpse of it. He left the comforts and lifestyle of his choosing.
He enlisted in the Army. He chose not to attend Officer Candidate School. Rather, he enlisted as an E-nothing, the bottom rung of the military ladder. Furthermore, he was determined to become a Ranger (not an aircraft mechanic, electronics technician, public relations specialist or even a 'mere' ordinary infantryman). He freely chose to fight for the security of his country and his fellow countrymen. He shunned the publicity that naturally followed and deliberately sought anonymity.
So what about Pat Tillman's decisions, choices and sacrifice has ruffled the feathers of the likes of those at the 'Democratic' Underground?
Allow me to clarify as directly and succinctly as possible:
When Pat Tillman died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, his death was recognized as the ultimate sacrifice it surely was. There was also much attention paid to the unlikely sacrifice he had made simply joining the Army and leaving the NFL (and all that comes with the NFL) in the first place. It was that first sacrifice that was so largely championed by so many because of what it represented. In an American society that is popularly perceived as being obsessed with material possession, money, and fame, it served to demonstrate that love of country and a selfless sense of duty are not merely the rote musings of those too poor, dumb or helpless to have anything else to cling to (as is popularly portrayed both directly and indirectly).
This championing of Pat Tillman's selfless sacrifice as a shining example of true patriotism was achieved predominantly (though not exclusively) through the writings and other coverage by individuals who would likely label themselves (if not certainly be labeled by others as) Conservative Americans.
And right there is the Great Departure.
It is no more complicated than the simple fact that it was largely (and loudly) conservatives who championed Tillman's selflessness and patriotism. Many conservatives even openly pondered if they themselves would have had the character to give up what Pat Tillman had given up.
The Bitter Left instantly hated the man and sought (and still seeks) to impugn him and diminish him as a rote, simpleton jock incapable of intellectual discourse to the level which they, of course, are capable.
Now, I never knew Pat Tillman nor had I ever spoken to him. I have however read a fair amount about him. And in all I have read about Pat Tillman, one thing strikes me as I read the venomous spew over at the 'Democratic' Underground. There is not much about Pat Tillman that one could have called conservative. To the contrary. He was in many ways quite rebellious and rather eccentric. He would climb water towers and scale to the tops of the ASU Sun Devil Stadium lights to meditate. He was intrigued by the mysticism and holistic aspects of Sonoma. There is more of course, but regardless none of these things points much to a young man with conservative ideals.
As a decidedly and confidently conservative-thinking American, I believe Pat Tillman likely had more in common with those very Democratic Underground posters than he ever had in common with me...
...with the exception of a love for this country and the freedom of self-determination that is the very core of being American.