He wrapped up his Friday broadcast with carefully bracketed video of young Republicans in Washington. His softly presented outrage leads to the inevitable conclusion that he is embracing the libertarian principle of individual, personal action. The only other possible interpretation being that he is a sanctimonious hypocrite.
Ending his July 27 broadcast of Bill Moyers Journal, he makes his opinion very clear that unless someone has committed to personally experience the greatest possible cost of what they are advocating, their opinion is without standing and worthy only of ridicule and moral reprobation. His quiet anger is directed at people who advocate actions for which others will bear the burden. I for one consider this to be a marked improvement in Moyer’s politics. Prior to this he has always identified strongly with activists who want to force the rest of society to bear the burden for their projects. I look forward eagerly to seeing him apply his new standard to every guest that he invites onto his program. It will be refreshing to only hear opinions from people who have first made a total personal sacrifice to a cause, before they may express belief in the justice of that cause. Because, Bill’s right. If you have not given yourself totally to some great endeavor first, ‘volunteering’ others is the very essence of hypocrisy.
BILL MOYERS: … Less than a month ago, July 6, Private First Class LeRon Wilson, and another member of his platoon were killed when their military vehicle hit a roadside bomb south of Baghdad.
I was thinking of LeRon Wilson a few days later as I came upon this internet video the independent journalist Max Blumenthal. He had gone to a gathering of young Republicans in Washington and interviewed some of them. Here are some excerpts:
JUSTIN YORK, UNIV. OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ’10: We are all supportive of the war; we all believe that it is very important to win the war and to fight Al Queda in Iraq so we are not fighting them here in the United States.
DAVID CLARY, UNIV. OF ILLINOIS ’09: I like the Republican standpoint, fight them over there not over here. That’s what we’re doing right now and we should keep doing it.
RACHAEL DAVIS, UNIV. OF ARKANSAS ’09: Um, basically, what I don’t think people understand is that, if it’s not fought in Iraq, we don’t win over there, it’s going to happen here.
CLINT PETERSON, UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS, ’08: I think frankly we went there because Al Qaeda was already there, they may not have [had] the forces they have now but they were there and essentially if we leave there we give them a stronghold.
BLUMENTHAL: Why are you not fighting them over there?
DAVID CLARY, UNIV. OF ILLINOIS ’09: Why am I not fighting them over there?
DAVID CLARY, UNIV. OF ILLINOIS ’09: Because I’m in college right now.
BLUMENTHAL: Do you plan to enlist?
DAVID CLARY, UNIV. OF ILLINOIS ’09: I haven’t ruled it out.
BLUMENTHAL: Are you going to serve?
JUSTIN YORK, UNIV. OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ’10: I’ve thought about it, thinking about it, haven’t decided.
BLUMENTHAL: Undecided? Why aren’t you serving currently?
JUSTIN YORK, UNIV. OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ’10: Well I’m an undergraduate right now and I had a scholarship…I just didn’t have any real urge…I just didn’t have any strong urge…
RALPH KETTELL, COLBY ’09: Why am I not serving? I don’t know…I mean… I really support this country strongly and I…you know… I didn’t enlist. There is not much else I can say. I don’t think that you can’t talk about this issue if you’re not serving.
BILL MOYERS: Private First Class LaRon Wilson has been posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was the 30th 18-year-old American soldier to be killed in Iraq. That’s it for the JOURNAL. I’m Bill Moyers.