Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Is Blogging Futile?

I felt the weight of futility back in January 2013, announced my retirement from blogging, then disappointed many by continuing to stick around.

Is Blogging Futile?

The question has come up in private conversations with fellow Right Blogistanis, and here is my response:

Is it futile to try to save someone when rescue looks impossible?  Is it futile to try to save a house afire?   Is it futile to keep fighting for your people and your nation when your back is to the sea and you're almost out of ammo?

Who are we to give up hope?  Despair is a sin, and I apologize if I spread it to others.

A Dante's Circles of Hell Infinite Loop

Here is why I am upset at our current state of affairs:

The heart of the problem is nobody wants to listen to anything that contradicts their world view.  I think we on the right have gotten much better at this than the left.  We can look back and admit mistakes, but you never see liberals and progressives doing that, and that is a huge problem.  There are still millions of people clamoring to vote for Hillary.  If it were Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleeza Rice running for office, I would have the same exact criticism.

All of us must adjust our thinking and our strategies based upon new information.

Why Veterans Detest Politics

I pulled a one-year tour in the Middle East, and my job (among many) was to solve communications problems (technical, satcom, radio,etc) and make upgrades.  Soldiers in the AOR were solving combat and community problems, airplane mechanics were figuring out ways to keep C-130 engines from flaming out in the intense heat.  Every career field was out there on their own assessing the situation and making adjustments.  You can't afford to have biases or pet opinions in that environment.  Peoples lives depend on you.

So you learn to test things, use what works (even if its someone else's idea) and get the job done.  A stupid idea that works isn't a stupid idea; I watched theory die in the jaws of reality.

Lessons Learned

Also, all military branches are big on "Lessons Learned," where you review what you just did, pick it apart and learn what worked and what didn't.  After a big failure, it can be painful, but you face facts, admit mistakes, discuss it and adjust plans so that it doesn't happen again.

That was the process in the CENTCOM AOR, among warfighters as well as support troops like me, and it was a clean, tight feedback loop, since all the headquarters and paper-pusher BS that normally clogs military channels were cleared away.  It was amazing what you could accomplish out there, and add in the camaraderie, and you can see why even combat troops who lost friends wish they could be back there.  For many of us, it is as close to Mazlow's self-actualization that we will ever get.

I did a lot of good work, overcame the impossible, and much of it I did by hook or by crook.  I lied, cheated and stole to get the mission done, because even out there, sometimes the red tape would try to trip you up.  I didn't care; I was doing it for the mission.

So, coming from that environment in Iraq and Afghanistan, can you see why veterans are upset and disgusted with the state of our government?

Politicians and bureaucrats are focused on their narrow self-interests rather than the nation's.

No honest evaluation of the facts on the ground.  No lessons learned.  No adjustment when pet theories crash and burn.  Ever.

Candor and honest self-assessment are impossible in the current political environment.

There is no such thing as an honest and open debate in the American political arena, and we need them. On immigration, Middle East strategy, jobs and the economy.

A Non-Ideological Disgust

So, my disgust comes from a very practical level rather than ideological.  That is what (Good Lord help us) makes a man like Trump attractive.  Who cares if he's not conservative? If he can put people back to work, negotiate from strength with other nations, handcuff the lawyers and unleash an army of green eye shade auditors on our government, reform it and make it efficient while slamming the door on bureaucrats conducting lawfare on the citizenry, then people will pull that lever, dammit all.

So, at some point, you gotta turn off the tv, put down the newspaper and just enjoy life around you. The other side of the coin is, you may be happy in your house, but if the neighborhood's on fire, you can't just sit there playing your banjo; you gotta get up and join the bucket brigade...

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