Skip to comments.Learning to fight...
Posted on 10/23/2004 8:05:44 PM PDT by pickrell
Since Sunday nears, I'll try something I haven't done before. Most of the guys on this forum have long since known of what I speak, but I'll ask their indulgence for a while as I try to reach a few of you young troops, new to conservatism and perhaps new to many things. This old Sergeant wants to pass along a couple of thoughts, while there is still time. So listen up.
When you were 10 or so, as we all once were, you had disagreements that turned into slap and punch fights with your best buddies. But if you recall, 20 minutes later anyone who got in your friend's face, the one you just smacked up earlier!, found that he had you and each of your buddies' other friends to contend with also...all previous conflict already forgotten. You hadn't learned how to really hurt each other yet, and fights weren't serious things. Then.
As you hit your mid twenties, especially if you had prior military service, fights took on a new significance. If you made the mistake once of letting your temper go and absolutely kicking the noodles out of a meathead, you'll know of what I speak. You can't take it back. You wouldn't remember what the fight was even over, once you sobered up a bit, but the guy you hurt might still be scarred for life. Or worse. At that point it dawns on you that all of us guys have to control 'the beast'. We can't afford the luxury anymore of just letting it all fly.
And then, you found a girl and got married. And one of the important things that you had to learn was how to fight. You figured out, or will need to figure out, that girls fight in a different way. They weren't brawlers when they were young, and so learned to fight with words. And most of them are better than us at cutting deeply.
You're in a snit over something stupid, and she makes a remark that really clenches your teeth. It's unfair and you're pissed. At this precise instant, you now find out just what kind of man and what kind of husband that you are. So does she. Remember that...so does she.
You've got several options. But if you don't count to 5 first, you may not even have time to consider them
A....You can come back with a similar remark; one that's got hooks in it. And it might feel good for an instant. You'll hurt her back, just like she hurt you. Eye for an eye. And you'll never be able to take it back. If the heat is on, the next remarks you exchange will further bloody the waters, and up the ante. Bad mistake. No way back, son. You lose.
B....You can storm out and let the pressure come to a good boil. Get tanked, and "show her." Worse mistake. You've forgotten in the flames that this is the woman you love. In your anger, you've done something that can't be undone. No status quo ante bellum possible now. You lose.
C.... You can step back and do what never comes natural to us neanderthals the first time. It'll feel so awkward and counter to the grain that you'll instantly wonder whether you're some kind of secret wuss. But you plunge in anyway. You begin to explain to her that you think the last remark was unfair, that it cut you deeply. You calmly ask her if she really feels that way, and you get prepared to accept whatever answer you get. The one thing you haven't done is to instinctively hurt her back. Because you realize that people get hot and hurt, and then say things they later regret, and would pay anything to somehow take back. And never can. Cause you can't unsay it.
Congratulations, slick. You're becoming a man. A conservative one. Because you're thinking with your head, instead of just your heart. Head buys the time that heart needs to let the adrenaline subside. Head prevents permanent injury. Heart follows as it cools.
D... Well, we won't discuss D, because any man that would raise his hand in any circumstances to his life-mate isn't worth spit, in my view. And I'll accept any flamers over THAT opinion.
You've just learn to fight without cutting. This doesn't mean that you give in on matters that you feel you are right about. (Though as you get older, you eventually learn that she is always right, and so you save a lot of grief by just admitting this immediately...) You've learned to disagree without resorting to cutting each other up. You state your case, maybe with heat, but never with malice. You don't return hurtful comments with even more hurtful comments, just to "win" the argument.
You've just grown up.
[ Right about now, you're asking yourself, OK, Ron, you've said your piece. But just how does this fit into a political forum? ]
Bear with me. I'm working up to saying something that I'm sure is gonna cost me. But sometimes, you have to step up. Here goes.
I've watched some hateful things come out of the "Guardian" over across the lake. The British leftists have escalated to the point of publishing suggestions that our President be assassinated. This is truly despicable, and par for their mindset. This doesn't surprise me as much as it should.
What has surprised me is that I, and I have to say also a few others on this forum, have responded with heat. Adrenaline and righteous anger can produce some truly cutting comments, which seem in the heat of verbal battle to be justified.
We read that 75% of Britons want to see our President defeated in 10 days or so. We feel betrayed. And some of us have posted some pretty hard things.
It's pretty tough not to.
But what we've forgotten is that 25% of Brits still stand with us, and that when we slash back at the 75%, we are also insulting the 25%. It's hard to qualify everything we say with a "oh, but we aren't including our British friends, when we denounce the &*^#%$@ over there." And any Brit, who's had relatives stand up with American forces and take the fire, must rightly feel offended if we denounce "those Brits." I wouldn't trade one of them or a tough Aussie either, for any 200 "zippo heroes". Even if they have the affixed "Combat V" for valor, on the lighter that they burned huts down with.
After all, we could lose this election ourselves. And then what should the Australians say. THEY re-elected their leader in a comfortable margin....
Do they say, "...those sodding Americans. What slime ball weaklings are they? They've only gone and bloody installed a socialist in their White House..."?
When the shoe is on the other foot, I suspect that we will know THEN what the 25% of Brits, who stood up hard against killing fields, and religious warfare, beside us, feel now.
Besides...even those Brits who sincerely feel that Blair lied to them have a right to their opinions. They can't control what the idiot bastards in their leftist press publish to cut the Americans. And maybe Blair did. I know that's poison to say. I only watch "Prime Minister's Questions" and hope that I am understanding the local issues that they face. But I don't know for certain. And so I'll loudly denounce any idiot American journalist or rag-merchant who even thinks to mess with their politics. It goes both ways.
We need to learn how to fight with our friends. Because sometimes we will. We need to make our points with force, but not with vitriol. We need to refrain from throwing acid in the faces of those we disagree with. After all, we aren't liberals. The grownups need to control themselves.
I am having to re-learn that; when my passion gets away from me. I despise political correctness...but I don't speak of "them redskins" when I want to make a point about native Americans. None of us do. We all watched as Ira Hayes helped raise that flag on Iwo Jima. (Well, I'm not actually THAT old. But I watched the movies.) We need to improve our reflexive respect for those Americans who have a different heritage from us. We lose far more than they, if we don't appreciate the rich heritage that is their birthright. We have lost much from our lack of understanding of earlier times. But we defeated the Southern Democrats, and began the painful path to learning.
I fear that though this is becoming instinctive to us, in regards to other Americans, we have almost entirely let that lesson get out of our heads, when our allies overseas insult us.
We almost adopt that fearsome, spiteful viciousness that is particular to liberals, when someone disagrees with them. And I'm not exempting myself. We are human and need to grip the controls hard.
We need to remember how we have successfully dismantled much of this gauntlet of despair that they have crafted. We beat them with ideas- we pointed out the hypocrisy of their agenda. We have taken apart their schemes with deliberate precision; and without the spitefulness that they have spit back with.
We'll need to present our case forcefully...and then listen honestly to their counter-arguments. Even if we don't agree, we'll better understand what they believe.
And we won't poison the waters of our relations with the 25% who do agree with us.
If I am wrong, and we haven't said some nasty things about the Brits in our heat, then I'll shut up and go back to lurking.
After all...I may not be that smart...but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I agree. One scum sucking communist rag doesn't a nation make.
Well said and point taken.
Here's to the 25%!
*CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP*
I can't help but feel that most Brits don't feel this way at all, and those who do only do so because of the media. They don't really even know the President, or what he really stands for. The world media has an agenda. I have said what it is too often to keep repeating it!
I love the British people!!
5 Star Post!!!
Thank you for posting that.
Humbled...Thank You! God knows we love Tony Blair!
We would be remiss to mistake the ignorant ramblings of a Guardian author for the sentiment of the British people. They have their own CBSs to deal with. Thanks for the post. Well thought, and well written.
Ping-a-ling to you!
Well said and needed to be said. I do appreciate all that England has done for us and all the crap they have taken to stand up for what is right. If "W" didn't have Blair to stand side by side with him and the brave ones of England standing to fight, this world would be in worse shape than it is. Now if the rest of the little weenies of this planet could find their spine we could get some work done.
Yep-Well said. Always best to keep the powder dry until you are calm.
God Bless Tony Blair and all the British who are still hanging tough with us.
Thank you for the essay, Ron.
I stand with President Bush and all others, here and abroad, who also support him. However, in this nation, those that don't support him also remain Americans. On the other hand, those from other nations who don't support our President and especially those who wish him harm can go straight to hell!
Yeah, you better go back to lurking, jerk.
Practice what you preach.
Gerald Flury wouldn't know anything about this.
That's funny Granite! But I'm afraid that several of the overseas readers may not understand what we were laughing about. Here in the U.S. we had these commercials going featuring pseudo-experts like me who admit that they have no credentials, but that they were smart enough to at least get a good value in hotel rates. Anyway, we though it was funny. Sorry.
Never mind. I guess you have to just chalk it up as being an American thing!