Million Vet March Unhappy with Cooption by Wingnuts
In underlined red letters on the front page of their website:
The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle is about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner.
And on Facebook:
We have, as a group, been prevented from certain groups that have piggy-backed off our grassroots efforts, to effectively create a comprehensive media message campaign. We made the mistake of trying to partner with some Washington insiders that thwarted many of our genuine concerns for keeping this apolitical and grassroots. While we support many of those groups common causes for Veterans, we do not support the manner in which they go about it. We chose instead to not incite or create panic.
What’s amazing to me is how completely the narrative of this group was co-opted. Their objective was, indeed, to hold gatherings at closed memorials, but with the express intention of showing gratitude, and they specifically talk about how visitors should pick up after themselves. There’s no fury at the park workers, no insults thrown, no ugliness in the intial posts…
[Note: My analysis of this is pretty shallow, looking at their website and Facebook. If anyone wants to research this deeper and contradict me, I will gladly retract this statement.]
It also speaks the utter cynicism of the individuals that caused such a mess this Sunday…not that this is the first sign that GOP/Tea Party support for veterans is a strictly on-paper affair. Within the cant that accompanies their worldview, a “veteran” is not just a person who has served in the armed forces of the USA, as denotation might suggest, but a fetish object. Like “The Bible,” “The Consitution,” and “The Founding Fathers,” veterans are gnostic implements, their true meaning only visible to True Conservatives. (And the secret is: social conservatives are totally right and deserve to change the country to match their vision). On actual veteran’s affairs—things like VA hospitals, mental health for PTSD—these people suddenly clam up—rather like they do for issues affecting people on active duty that don’t fit their vision of what a serviceman should be…like being, gay, female, or suffering from PTSD. Individual veterans (and servicemen) can be mocked, ignored, and insulted, because their idea is all that matters.