Monday, May 30, 2016

I've been reflecting today on the most evil and tragic of human enterprises: War. Memorial Day should be a day of somber reflection on the terrible (and often avoidable) costs of war: All of the young people sent to fight and die, and the even greater number of noncombatants who also have their lives destroyed. 90% of all deaths in war are civilians. This ought to be their Memorial Day too.

As Tim O'Brien wrote in The Things They Carried, “If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie.  There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue.”

Thursday, May 05, 2016

I decided to listen to conservative AM talk radio yesterday to get a sense of the party-line reactions to Kasich and Cruz dropping out and Trump becoming the de facto Republican presidential nominee. It is astonishing to hear some conservative pundits already conceding that the presidential race is lost and advising their listeners to instead focus on local politics. Some were suggesting, on principle, writing in a different selection for President on the national ballot (knowing it will be futile) or leaving it blank. Some others were suggesting their listeners ought to vote for Trump in the national election as the lesser of two evils. Regarding that last suggestion, I have to wonder: doesn't that still mean they are intentionally choosing what they consider to be evil?