I have the Band of Brothers series on DVD. I think I’ve had it since the collection was released in . . . 2002? 2003? I didn’t get the opportunity to watch it when it played new on HBO because I was a poor struggling filmmaker/writer/whatever at the time (not much has changed since then by the way) who couldn’t afford the extra cable charge. But I heard excellent things about the story of Easy Company and I hoped to see it some day.
When the time came to watch the series, I wasn’t disappointed. It was great then, and still is now, standing up to the competition of other World War 2 shows and films that have been released since.
But from the day I watched it, there was one episode . . . I take that back . . . one particular scene that has struck me as good as anything I was ever going to see on TV or film. Lt. Ronald Speirs is talking to PFC Blithe. Blithe admits that on D-Day he didn’t immediately try to find the rest of his company. Instead, Blithe remained in a ditch and hid. Speirs asks him why. Blithe says it was because he was afraid.
In response, Speirs shakes his head and says, “We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier’s supposed to function. Without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends on it.”
Granted, I don’t know if the real Speirs, future administrator of the Spandau Prison, said that or if it was a concoction of some Hollywood writer’s imagination. It’s likely a mixture of both. However, at its core, those lines did represent how Speirs was portrayed in the series—ruthless, cold, and frank. And if it’s to be believed, that’s how the real Ronald Speirs was. Nazi Albert Speer, a prisoner at Spandau, called Speirs a “hard-nosed, irritating American Commandant.” Sounds like Speirs had the right enemies.
I bring this all up because going into this final weekend before the election I sense a lot of fear out there. I’m 46 years old and I can’t remember this much anxiety before an election. Wild accusations on each side. The hardcore supporters of either candidate spewing out the worst of what the English language can offer. Predictions of the apocalypse, the markets crashing, terrorist attacks, etc. if Hillary or Trump doesn’t win.
In contrast, I find myself particularly calm. And it’s not because I’m not scared. Actually, I am. But like Speirs, I’ve found a way to function as a citizen. I’m not going to hole myself up on a compound if Hillary wins. Or move to Canada if Trump does. I’m going to continue to chug along in a manner that people would probably call, “aloof.”
You see, the ones you see screaming, cursing, and slandering out there. The ones you see polluting your Facebook feed with memes, and allegedly funny political jokes, and testimonials of how great Obamacare is or how Trump is going to send every Mexican back home, those are all the Blithes. These are the people who have convinced themselves there is still hope.
Well, I’m here to tell you there isn’t any. There is no hope. Why? Because conservatism is the ONLY hope. And it’s not being offered in this election.
All of these screamers, shouters, and scrawlers have convinced themselves that nationalism is the hope. Socialism is the hope. Populism is the hope. Demagoguery is the hope. Simply opposing the other candidate is the hope. Ignoring rape allegations is the hope. Dismissing national security concerns is the hope. Accepting pay-to-play deals because everyone does it is the hope.
Moreover, they all believe that accepting one political side in this election or the other will somehow at the very least keep the USA from destroying itself. But the closest they ever get to an explanation is “Well, Hillary isn’t Trump.” And “at least Trump is better than Hillary.”
I got news—whether you get shot 15 times or 30, you’re still dead. Whether you get stabbed 15 times or 30 times you’re still dead. Whether you get zapped with a billion volts or 2 billion volts, you’re still dead. Whether you bleed out 1 pint a minute or 1 pint every two minutes, you’re still dead.
In all those cases, you’re still dead. Thus, there’s no hope.
There is only hope when there are solutions. There is only hope when there is trust. There is only hope when there is integrity. Everything else is a figment of a voter’s imagination.
Hope does not exist simply because voters want their side to win. Hope does not exist simply because somebody believes the other side is worse.
Hope only exists when the correct path is taken. Everything else is a dead end. Let me write that again: EVERY SINGLE PATH OTHER THAN THE RIGHT ONE IS WRONG.
In other words, any other path besides conservatism will lead this country to ruin. Whether it be next week, next year, next century. It WILL happen and every single voter who participates in this election will be responsible for it.
All these people terrorizing each other for the last year are all participants in an unwinnable game. All this energy they’ve expended has just been fighting over who goes down last with the ship, because neither side is offering a life preserver to the USA—only a higher deck on which to eventually drown.
I wonder how the losing side will handle it a few days from now. Will they carry out their threats of going to Canada? Will they go through with their plans to put barbed wire around their yard?
The cynic in me says in time they’ll go back to their daily lives as if nothing ever happened. And that’s the kicker in this, isn’t it? That all of these people—Trump or Hillary supporters—will some day wake up soon and suddenly not care who is president, as if the last year has been nothing but a put-on. Theater. A Broadway production.
In effect, they’ll prove to us Never Trumpers that it really was nothing but about winning after all. That they didn’t really love Trump. Or Hillary. Their supporters just wanted to be part of a winner—forget the issues.
The problem? The issues don’t go away. Terrorism still exists. The National Debt still exists. Obamacare still exists.
These problems don’t go away just because voters’ infatuation with a candidate has dissipated.
And as those issues continues to degrade our country over the next 2 years, next 4 years, next 8 years, we true conservative soldiers will continue to march along, waiting for the time when the rest of you are ready to wise up.
Until then, we will be much like Speirs–without compassion for our erring fellow citizens. Without remorse for staying away from horrible candidates. Without mercy if any of these sides try to attack us. We have to. Our country depends on it.