Michael Savage has been ripped savagely for his comments about soldiers with PTSD in response to a caller on his national radio show.
Mediaite in particular leaps on the headline:
Michael Savage Rants Against Military PTSD Sufferers: ‘No Wonder ISIS Can Defeat’ Us’
It’s like a competition to see how many emotionally-charged words can be packed into one steaming oatmeal of clickbaity goodness.
But there’s nothing materially wrong about what he says.
This is not an “attack” on our honorable Armed Forces.
This is an attack on the weakness and hand-holding that permeates every aspect of American life these days.
And before everyone goes “but I served 73 tours in Desert Maelstrom, not Desert Storm, this was even worse, I have PTSDEFGHIJK”—let’s go line by line:
I am so sick and tired of everyone with their complaints about PTSD, depression. Everyone wants their hand held, and a government check. What are you, the only generation that had PTSD? The only generation that’s depressed? I’m sick of it. I can’t take the celebration of weakness and depression.
George Carlin once did a bit on how “shell shock” in WWI became “battle fatigue” in WWII became “operational exhaustion” in Korea became the “post-traumatic stress disorder” that we all know today during Vietnam.
The horrors witnessed throughout those conflicts, especially in the World Wars, never changed. If anything, they decreased over time, and have since. It’s a fact of war that there will be apocalyptic scenes of carnage that will psychologically wreck the mind.
See, I was raised a little differently. I was raised to fight weakness. I was raised to fight pain. I was raised to fight depression. Not to give into it. Not to cave into it and cry like a little baby in bed. “Boo-hoo-hoo. Boo-hoo-hoo.” Everyone has depression in their life. Everyone has sickness and sadness and disease. And loss of relatives. And loss of career. Everyone has depression in their life. But if the whole nation is told, “boo-hoo-hoo, come and get a medication, come and get treatment, talk about mental illness.” You know what you wind up with? You wind up with Obama in the White House and liars in every phase of the government. That’s what you wind up with. It’s a weak, sick, nation. A weak, sick, broken nation. And you need men like me to save the country. You need men to stand up and say stop crying like a baby over everything.
This is patently obvious. Depression is a fact of life in the same way that trauma is a fact of war. Trauma is also a fact of life. The only thing that perpetuates trauma is to either A) continue it or B) stop fighting it, which results in A).
Stand up already. Stop telling me how sick you are and sad you are. Talk about the good things in your life.
When have you last heard that? Oh, everyone’s holding their hand. “Oh, welcome to Good Morning America, sir. You almost committed suicide, how interesting. Please tell us your story.” Maybe a young child who’s on the edge can commit suicide.
Dennis Prager has discussed the perpetuation of happy and upbeat songs and entertainment during difficult times in our country’s past, especially during World Wars and the Great Depression. Contrast that to grunge music in the early 90s and emo music in the early 2000s—depressing, dark music that moaned about the worst of life instead of celebrating the best. We obsess over how sick and sad we are and then wonder why we’re so sick and sad. Heroic soldiers are not a media story and are forgotten by most of the media, Jake Tapper being an exception to the rule. But soldiers with PTSD and depression and after-effects from voluntary service? Come sit on the couch and tell us about your suffering!
What a country. No wonder we’re being laughed at around the world. No wonder ISIS can defeat our military. Take a look at that.
Let’s face it, folks. When America stops projecting strength, America ceases to be strong, respected, loved, or feared. Our allies love us not for being nice guys, or because we share our feelings, but because we protect them. Russia, China, and various Islamic groups are baffled that we can be so externally strong but internally weak. They understand force, whether military or economic. The “well, let’s just sit down and have a chat with them” doesn’t work unless said chat discusses just how precisely we can and will eliminate their armed forces if they cross the line. Even the most hardcore diplomacy-advocates admit that coming to the table with empty words or consistent concessions or being perceived as weak do you no favors.
Take a look at that, why people aren’t even getting married anymore to have children. They don’t even have the guts to raise a child. The men are so weak, and so narcissistic, all they want to do is have fun. Bunch of losers. Just go have a brewski and look at the 49ers, you idiot, you. They won’t even get married, won’t have a child, it takes too much of a man to do that. What a country. You’re not a man, you’re a dog. A dog raises babies better than most American men do.
The crisis in confidence among American men is historically unprecedented. Men in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s have not made the full leap towards adulthood. Kids from different mothers, video game obsession, this generation of American men would consider a man in his mid-20s from the 1950s or 1960s to be a grandfather these days. What started as “mid-life crisis” has turned into “life”.
So what’s controversial about this? Because Savage used words that can congeal into shocking headlines when re-arranged?
What’s controversial is that Savage called for responsibility. Every time a public figure in one way or another mentions the “R” word, from Bill Cosby talking about inner-city youth to Bill Maher talking about moderate Muslims, there’s a stunning blitzkrieg of opposition. They attack the character of the speaker (Maher is a privileged white man!) the speaker’s background (Limbaugh abused prescription pills!) while claiming in no uncertain terms that everyone’s flawed therefore we should just pack up and go home.
That’s true. Everyone’s flawed and at one point or another, everyone’s not met the challenge of responsibility, whether it’s a heroic soldier who was lazy at his summer job in high school or a grandmother who You’re not going to find a speaker who isn’t flawed, but that doesn’t make the argument any less valid. In fact, it makes it even more valid because these are people speaking from experience. Prager (again) frequently states that you’ll find more wisdom in an AA meeting than you will in any major university.
For every story like this, you won’t hear the story of the soldier who overcame PTSD or is struggling through it and might be losing the fight but winning the war but is keeping their chin up and spirits high. That doesn’t make news. Words like “PTSD” and “trauma” and “suicide”—those make headlines.