It’s a Veterans’ Day. I don’t think so ill of the people in the army. But let’s be frank: joining the army is not the best thing you can do for your country. Most of our wars have been wars of choice. By holding up military service as a great thing, unjustified wars are easier for leaders to start. Dulce et decorum est propatria mori (It is sweet and decorous to die for the fatherland) is really not about getting people to die for their country—it is about getting people to kill for their country. Happy Veterans’ Day.
Jon Stewart was on the Rachel Maddow show tonight. They spent the whole episode on him. I don’t see why. He seems reasonable, but he is not well-reasoned. I’ve watched him over the last ten years and it seems he is doing his best to become the David Broder of his generation. Yes, he is still making sense upwards of 35% of the time. And his show is consistently funny. But give him another ten years—much less twenty—and he will be suggesting ideas as good as war with Iran as the way to get our economy going. Stewart’s defense of George W. Bush was simply disgusting. His basic argument seems to be that Bush is not a war criminal because Bush was an American politician.
Let me be clear: Jon Stewart is a problem who has little if anything to add to the political debate.