Posted by: johnhourihan | June 11, 2013

This political game has gone too far


Sometimes the games that are happening just become so insane as to create a needless danger in the world. Sometimes I look at it and just have to turn it off and say, “These people have lost their minds.”
With the parents of a Navy SEAL deciding they have been targeted for surveillance by the president because they complained that his policies got their son killed in war, this is one of those times.
It all reminds me of when I was running as a classified courier while in Vietnam. Bags of “top secret codeword” material, back when we still used paper to communicate, had to be transferred among security agency companies in country. Each month a soldier with a top secret/crypto clearance from my outfit was designated as the courier.
This was my month. Every morning I woke up in a new company, grabbed my duffel bag of classified papers and headed off into the wild blue yonder above Vietnam in a C-130 Hercules to deliver it to some other company.
In our entire time in Southeast Asia I never heard of a single incident when one of these couriers ran into any trouble. I mean, it was classified material, and it would have been detrimental if it found its way into the wrong tent, but beyond the surreal world of military intelligence on the bottom rung, we couriers were, by all appearances, just troops traveling between companies carrying a duffel bag. Who’d a thunk we was spies.
One afternoon in Cam Ranh Bay while waiting for a flight to Phu Bai I met an old friend.
“Hey Ghost, what are you doing here?” He asked as he cut through the crowd inside the terminal. “ Aren’t you still stationed in Pleiku?”
“I’m on courier duty this month. Is there anywhere to get food around here?”
“There’s a sandwich trailer just down the road.”
We decided to eat, but I didn’t feel like taking the bag with me.
I dragged it outside, and saw a young soldier sitting on the ground just to the left of the doorway. His white T-shirt peeked out from the neck of his stateside fatigues, and he looked around like a squirrel getting ready to be shot.
“Hey,” I said, “turning to him.”
He came to a sitting form of attention.
“See this  bag?”
He nodded.
“This is classified material. If it gets into the wrong hands this war could go very bad. Now, I have to go somewhere, so you are going to watch it.”
His eyes got large and I could almost hear him sweat.
“Take this,” I said handing him a loaded.45. “If anyone tries to take this from you, shoot him.”
My friend gasped, but with look from me and a smile he left the situation the way I had set it up.
When we got back with our sandwiches, the new guy was sitting on the bag, .45 in hand, ready to shoot anyone who got too close. The only one at the terminal who didn’t think he was insane was himself. He believed there were bad guys everywhere ready to take the bag, and he was ready to shoot them if they came too close, even though every one of the people within his vision was wearing a U.S. military uniform.
“Good job,” I said, taking the pistol from his sweaty hands. “Did you kill anyone?“
“No sir.“
“Good, now go away.“
He did.
“That was risky,” my friend said.
“Gun’s broken. . . Won‘t fire.”
We laughed at the naiveté of a person who would buy into such a stupid game in such a serious manner.
That was one of those insane times.
Another is now.
Now, the Republican party, in its efforts to thwart the Democratic  president in everything he does, has taken its game of political gotcha to such an extreme that some of their followers are taking it much too seriously.
There are now tens of thousands of people who weren’t even supposed to be playing the game who have made it their own reality and taken the tournament to another level.
They are sitting in an airport parking lot with a loaded gun and feel it is their duty to destroy the other side.
The truth is, the GOP doesn’t really feel that way. It is all a political game of who gets elected next time. But they have now created an army of nearly brain dead intellectual zombies who feel the reality is that the Democrats are evil and want to destroy the country.
And there they are, sitting on a bag in the middle of an airport terminal pointing a loaded .45 at everyone on the other side. The only problem is the gun I gave to that lost and befuddled boy was harmless.
These people are causing serious harm.

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