To Speak Like A Man

Jim Webb, though a Southerner and a man whose family has strong Confederate roots, adopted a modest and respectful posture in his comment on the flag matters. William Kristol, himself a Lincoln and Sherman man -- a very decent guy and a serious thinker, whom I met in Jerusalem and who might even have been thinking of our conversation in his limited defense today -- found Webb's comment to be refreshingly adult. He mentions Lincoln's second inaugural: "With malice toward none, with charity for all." I notice Webb did not undertake a vigorous defense of the flag, nor call for it to remain in place. Rather, he calls for calm, reflection, and mutual understanding. Allahpundit says it is enough to disqualify him, should he be serious about running for the Democratic nomination. Hopefully not. It is welcome, sober, and proper. The resolution of the disposition of the flag can be discussed in time, he seems to say: what matters now is to be respectful, to remember our brotherhood.

Perhaps not by accident he also published a short story today, which comes out of his time in Vietnam. It begins with a child asking his grandfather a question on the way to church. It's a question only a child should ask: did you ever kill a man?
“We’ll talk about it on the lake.” He attempted a joke. “I grew up with Ernest Hemingway. And Hemingway said you aren’t supposed to feel bad about it.”

“Who is Ernest Hemingway?”

“Some writer who never killed anybody. Except himself.”
The discussion in the story quickly turns philosophical, which suggests a ground for Webb's -- and Lincoln's -- call for an absence of malice and a focus on charity. It is a seriousness of mind entirely refreshing at the present hour. It reminds me, once again, of why I often wish for veterans of proven valor more often to seek public office.

1 comment:

Ymar Sakar said...

Lee fought and was anti slavery, so he was a patriotic hero. Forrest NB volunteered to throw off his rich plantation draft and service exemption, and was a ruthless guerilla warfare fighter, so he deserves respect as a patriot. Sherman could have killed all the Southern or Georgian land owners, but they somehow survived to resurge to power in Reconstruction, so he deserves respect for some degree of mercy in victory like MacArthur did for Japan. Although the outcome was kind of the reverse.

Grant was a number cruncher, but did more for victory than the Vietnam Democrats. Tolerable. Didn't succeed at doing COIN in Reconstruction.

Lincoln died too soon and allowed his Democrat VP to destroy Reconstruction, in order to blame Northern Republicans for it. Lincoln was a pragmatist and wouldn't have used federal government to take away state's rights. The South needed the President to force states like New York to bend knee to the federal law about fugitives and returning "slave property".

All in all, the war heroes deserves respect. The Democrat slave owners then and now that didn't fight and only grow fat upon the stolen power of their white and black slaves? They don't deserve any such thing.