By Doug Magill
The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor. George Bernard Shaw
It is one of the dismaying things about our President and his minions: their inability to understand the deeper meaning of things. They use words to win, not to explain; images to demonize, not to elevate; power to bully, but not to protect.
Yet it all fits with the image of those raised after the World War that defined our country. Everything is exigencies and now. Self-aggrandizement as an art and a life goal at the expense of character and probity.
One must weep for those fallen in our name to have their sacrifice conflated with someone like Bowe Bergdahl by a thoroughly dishonest academic like Susan Rice, who commented about Bergdahl’s enlistment qualifying him for having served with “honor and distinction”. Those who have served know honor is earned, not a decision that may lead to an opportunity for honor. There is an understanding of this even in pop culture, as this quote attributed to Midori Koto clarifies “Honor isn’t about making the right choices. It’s about dealing with the consequences.”
No one in this administration understands the consequences of policies, the effects of dishonesty, the obligations of failure or the acceptance of responsibility.
Honor is a recognition of service, of integrity, of duty. Concepts that do not have a place in the list of virtues desired by this administration. American military personnel have known since the founding of this country that sacrifice is an essential part of service, and that the result may be death. But they have willingly taken that journey because of the idea that this country represents, and its uniqueness in the history of the world.
My father and uncle served in combat in the Pacific in World War II, and they understood honor. It was earned, even by those that served in roles that did not involve combat. They did their job and helped secure victory. Even those whose well of fortitude might have run dry in the screaming hell of combat are remembered with honor. They were there, they did their job, and if they fell, overwhelmed, their sacrifice is something greater than anyone serving this administration will ever know.
Honor could never be about nominating oneself for medals as the bumbling narcissist John Kerry did before disappearing from duty and viciously attacking those who had served with him. It could never be about the solipsistic demand for recognition obtained by others and the fanatical washing of hands relative to consequences never acknowledged like Hillary Clinton. It could never be about awards given for political purposes rather than accomplishments, as when our preening President received a Nobel Peace Prize. And it will never be about burying distasteful things in the weekend news cycle or imposing mandates that were never understood or accepted by the country.
It is for those who know honor to rebuild and renew this country, and protect it from the consequences of the Obama years of illusion. It is for us to make sure that happens.
Doug Magill is a communications consultant, freelance writer and voice over talent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org