Monday, May 28, 2012

Chris Hayes Totally Overthinks the Word Hero

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Why do I feel so uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’? I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
~ MSNBC host Chris Hayes discussing the word "Hero"

As many have rightly pointed out, it's very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation's citizens as a whole.....But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry.
~ Chris Hayes Apology on the "Up" website

So yes Mr. Hayes to the extent that dying did not make my son or any other man or woman killed in war a hero I agree. They were and are heroes long before the war wounds or kills them. They are heroes when they courageously put themselves at risk by investing their lives in this nation and freedom.
Mr. Hayes.. I feel somewhat sorry for you.. that you have never loved anything or anyone enough to stand up and put your life on the line to fight for it. You see that is what makes a hero...something you obviously do not understand.
~ Mother of a soldier who fell in Afghanistan

Chris Hayes' recent remarks on MSNBC regarding our fallen service members are reprehensible and disgusting. His words reflect his obvious disregard for the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price while defending our nation. His insipid statement is particularly callous because it comes at a time when our entire nation pauses to reflect and honor the memory of our nations' fallen heroes.
VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer said in a statement to Fox News

Apparently he is the arbiter of what acts actually equal heroism. And, oh, his comfort. As long as he’s “comfortable.” That is what is important! We wonder if he said it while chewing contemplatively on his hipster glasses? We also wonder if he’d like to tell the children of the fallen that calling their mommies and daddies heroes makes him “uncomfortable.”

One is reminded anew of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous comment that the sign of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. But the funny thing is that in this case, saying that (a) certain wars might be objectionable, and (b) the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fighting them are heroic are not even opposed ideas. So it is possible that Hayes has failed to display even a fifth-rate intelligence. Scary stuff.
~ blog post entitled "Chris Hayes Jumps Multitudes of Sharks

During the Bush war the GOP was all too willing to politicize military service: "Love our war or you hate the troops." Yellow ribbon magnets became thought-killing pro war bumper stickers. The legacy of Bush-era war propaganda is that it's become difficult to separate personal bravery and morally repugnant use of the military. If the country is going to heal from the Bush years, we're eventually going to have to have this conversation. Unfortunately for Chris Hayes and the rest of America, neocon casket-riders are still controlling the debate.
~ comment by Vapid on Huffington Post

In an election year, you can't give the GOP any openings to spew their propaganda. Their only issues to run on are missteps by the left which will be pounded into the conscious of the swing states. Hayes had no reason to go there, especially given the nature of the guest's conversation. Ponder issues like that in your own time Chris-----the GOP uses things like this to make you hesitate before speaking out on all issues. That said, he's usually got some great insight.
~ comment by Beowoof

Just in time for Memorial Day, some MSNBC drone named Chris Hayes has lit up the internet with his confession that dead American troops don’t quite measure up to his exacting standards for what qualifies as a “hero.” Memo to Chris: they are heroes, and you don’t get a vote.
. . . So, like so many other useless progressive fops who glide from cocktail party to panel discussion, Chris Hayes continues to push his progressive vision of collectivist serfdom from behind the unbreachable wall of American warriors. He has not stood with them and, in fact, is unworthy of doing so. He is a parasite taking sustenance from the exertions of better men and women.
~ Kurt Schlichter on Breitbart

And decades from now, I hope another young American will visit this place and reach out and touch a name. And she’ll learn the story of servicemembers—people she never met, who fought a war she never knew—and in that moment of understanding and of gratitude and of grace, your legacy will endure. For you are all true heroes and you will all be remembered.
~ President Obama at the Vietnam War Memorial Today

Perhaps President Obama should take a minute to pick up the phone and explain the heroism of our fallen servicemembers to his fellow progressive, MSNBC host Chris Hayes?
~ William Kristol in The Weekly Standard


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