There is no one who epitomizes the Right’s relationship to veterans more than Michael Savage.
In point of fact, Savage is the perfect metaphor, the perfect figurehead, for the madness that has taken over what’s left of the once great Party of Lincoln, from the blustering macho to the hysterical paranoia to the reflexive chest beating jingoism that passes for patriotism among conservatives today, to – most especially – the staggering hypocrisy.
That’s radio pundit, Michael Savage.
Savage describes himself as a conservative nationalist. A jingoist.
He says this viewpoint is based on three things: borders, language, and culture.
Borders, language, and culture.
And doesn’t that neatly sum up modern American conservatism.
Our borders, our language, our culture.
Savage, like most outspoken conservatives, is a religious man … when it suits him. When it’s convenient. When he’s attacking Muslims or Catholics or atheists or people who don’t believe whatever it is he believes at any particular moment. But if you attempt to hold him to account for his professed belief system, humility, charity, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, well then he’s a non-believer. God conveniently hates all the same people Michael Savage hates.
Like far too many conservatives nowadays, when Michael Savage talks about America he’s not talking about the United States as it actually exists, as the great melting pot, “e pluribus unum.” No, what Savage describes is Conservative Heaven – i.e. it’s only the chosen land if only the chosen people get to live there.
For conservatives, heaven is an eternal paradise if only they get in, and only if they get to watch those they hate burn in eternal torment. When these people talk about their ultimate reward, that’s the part they describe with relish and delight, the part where they get to watch everybody else burn.
And, that right there, is how they see America.
The United States is only great, only truly exceptional, when everybody is just like them. When everybody speaks the same language and worships the same god and has the same skin color and belongs to the same political party as Michael Savage. And everybody else gets left outside the barbed wire.
When conservatives like Savage talk about borders, language, and culture they mean their borders, their language, and their culture.
It’s the religion of convenience.
It’s the politics of convenience.
It’s patriotism of convenience.
Last week on his radio show, Savage was upset because California is considering naming a tunnel after the late comedian Robin Williams. Savage was afraid such a memorial would “promote suicide.” How exactly naming a stretch of highway after the entertainer would make people kill themselves Savage didn’t bother to elaborate on other than to trot out the long discredited trope that those suffering from clinical depression just need to butch up and shake it off.
A caller took exception to Savage’s ignorance regarding depression and mental illness.
When the caller described himself as a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder Savage hung up on him and proceeded to attack veterans in general:
“I am so sick and tired with everyone with their complaints about PTSD, depression. Everyone wants their hand held and a check, a government check. What, are you the only generation that had PTSD? The only generation that’s depressed?”
And there it is, the religion of convenience.
Conservatives like Savage, i.e. conservatives that have themselves never served not a single day in their lives, love the military … just so long as those soldiers are dying heroically in a foreign land while killing people conservatives hate and fear.
Conservatives like Savage love ships and tanks and guns and bullets, they love the bombs and they love the bloody carnage. They stand, flag in hand and tear in eye, as Johnny marches off to war. But when Johnny comes home again, if he does, broken, battered, maimed, damaged, why conservatives are nowhere to be found – unless it’s convenient.
So long as they can use us veterans to attack the president, to further their own political agenda, to squeeze just one more drop of blood from us, one more dollar of profit, conservatives love us.
But the moment veterans demand what was promised, the moment we ask America to make good on her obligation, the moment we ask for understanding, well, then we’re just a bunch of weak ungrateful pussies.
Savage went on to blame what he sees as everything wrong with America on Veterans, on those who “cry like a little baby” over PTSD:
“If the whole nation is told, ‘boo-hoo-hoo, come and get a medication, come and get treatment, talk about mental illness,’ you know what you wind up with? You wind up with Obama in the White House and lawyers in every phase of the government, that’s what you wind up with. It’s a weak, sick nation. A weak, sick, broken nation.”
And there it is again, the religion of convenience. The hypocrisy of conservatives. Savage bemoans “lawyers in every phase of the government” but doesn’t bother to mention how he himself sues anybody and everything, including the government, whenever he feels slighted or depressed.
Savage declared veterans with PTSD are a “bunch of losers.”
Then he explained “You need men like me to save the country.”
Men like Michael Savage, who changed his embarrassing name (Weiner) and grew a Chuck Norris beard to hide his weak chin and shouts about America to hide the fact that he himself never served a day in his life. That Michael Savage, he’ll save America.
“You need men to stand up and say stop crying like a baby over everything [… ] Men are so weak and so narcissistic.”
Good advice, Mike.
Conservatives like you should take it.
Take it, fold it until it’s all sharp corners, and shove it right up your ass.