“A greater understanding of sacrifice, but…”
Sometimes Crazy isn’t entirely nuts. There is a code at the core of his worldview, an emotional patriotism mixed with a system of punishment that’s part Old Testament, part Charles Bronson. He is consistent, indignant, often insensitive, and, like all ideologues, self-righteous.
As you might imagine, he is none too sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street situation. I wanted to know how he felt, more specifically, about the two Iraq war veterans injured by the Oakland Police Department—one severely with a fractured skull and the other beaten by clubs until he lacerated his spleen. I told my brother that I found the OPD’s actions, “totally over the top. They sent a Marine Iraq veteran to the hospital,” I said.
His first response was ruthless:
What a disgrace that a marine would join these leftist idiots in their stupid protests. He is aligning himself with anti-American losers; he deserves what he got if not worse.
When my brother says this kind of thing, I realize it’s because he doesn’t know Scott Olsen, or Kayvan Sabehgi, and it’s because there’s a little bit of a sadist in my brother, but also because Michael Savage and Mark Levin and Ann Coulter have taught him that liberals are not really people, and it’s therefore entirely acceptable to wish ill upon them. (This dehumanizing effect of Rightist radio screamers is, by far, the most dangerous aspect of the medium.)
So I asked my brother, “Does protesting make the Marine an enemy of America? Or does he have a greater claim, because of his service, to patriotic criticism of American policies?”
This one sunk in. My brother reflected:
I don’t make him an enemy of America for this. Whether he has a greater claim to patriotic criticism, I don’t know. He actually has a different perspective and perhaps a greater understanding of sacrifice.
It was a somber moment, and he promptly regained his footing:
Putting all that aside, his involvement with Occupy basically makes him a stupid asshole.