Let The Old Guard Pass
I am done, simply done, with the collective assumption that the vetust ‘old school’ of comic creators is worth respecting solely due to their age. I don’t care if I do burn my bridges, I would rather still keep my principles.
Michael A. Baron, of Punisher fame, and staunch Trump supporter refused to denounce the assault of a journalist by Gianforte, an elected official, as an attack on freedom of speech, because it was his party committing these crimes. I confronted him on this issue when things came to a breaking point and he refused to even acknowledge it was an issue or even discuss the troubling implications of the President’s silence on the issue, saying that ‘we will remain friends.’
He was wrong.
Ron Fortier, of Green Hornet fame, likewise, is very apt at denouncing the excesses of his opposition, but who is all but blind to the excesses of ‘his guy’ because it is ‘his guy.’ He constantly speaks of ‘whining liberals’ and is awash in the most infantile partisanship unbecoming of a man of his advanced age.
You cannot be a good man and turn your back on an attack on freedom of speech, the abuse of government, and the unwarranted unleashing of force simply because the thug committing those crimes happens to wear your colors.
These are not good men. You *can’t* be a good man and compromise such basic principles. When met in person they seem like affable, old gentlemen, but as the Witch in Into The Woods very eloquently expounded, there is a very marked difference between seeming ‘nice’ and being actually good. Or to quote the Witch’s unfortunately deleted song:
~Just a small upheaval, evil, EVIL, EVIL, EVIL.
Want to know what’s EVIL? nice people’s lies.~
For all their criticism of ‘virtue signaling’ from the left, these old men and the rest of the alt-right engage in their own signal flares- the appeal to the Constitution, the Greatness of America and the American Dream while actively supporting a man who not only violates the principles of the Constitution but also demonstrably does not know the document or its amendments. A man who violates the greatness of America by actively shutting the door in the face of the same kind of people whose hard work and personal odysseys helped build the country from which he benefits. A man who vituperatively degrades the dignity of his appointed office through vulgar insults and verified lies while feeding the divisive racial rhetoric that empowers extremist right wing bases.
And all of this is tolerated- why? Because of kickbacks. The classic “My guy will get *me* what I want” without care or worry how it is achieved, or how many institutions are destroyed in the process. And the added bonus? Because it also infuriates their political enemies.
This is not what good men do.
My entire life, I have made it my drive to dedicate myself to the study and pursuit of virtue ethics- not virtue-signaling, but the study of what we can term as ‘the good’ and how one should apply it. I know in my mind and in my conscience that one does not betray the good solely because of some flimsy affiliation or another- the dynamics of group and tribe are not what dictates what is the good.
It is time that we stopped pretending that these men- Baron, Fortier et al and their new generation disciples such as Jon Malin have anything of value to give us, or indeed anything to teach us at all that somehow overshadows their moral culpability.
There is nothing more contemptible than the hypocrite who would denounce the excesses of their enemies and celebrate those of their idols. If they denounced Obama’s NSA scandal and the persecution of whistle-blowers, the same principle *requires* these men to denounce Trump and his administration for intending to renew the NSA’s unimpeded spying on the American people. And I do put an emphasis on the word *require* because, if you know the difference between right and wrong, it is a betrayal of the lowest kind to betray the good in favor of the convenient.
The takeaway lesson is that principle isn’t something that one gets to abandon at whim an at favor, and still somehow pretend you have some moral authority, or that you are somehow ‘the adult in the room’ (as many Trump supporters like to style themselves). Trump supporters are, in fact, children.
And, of course, the same goes for those Democrats who ignored President Obama’s violations but vociferously attack Trump. Because the violation of principles past builds the foundation for even greater abuses. Ecce Trump. This moral abomination of a president is the direct result of decades upon decades of sacrificing principle, settling for the lesser of two evils every single time- which has only ensured that every new set of choices is more evil than the previous one.
Let us figuratively bury these old men in the memory of time, where they ought to be forgotten, and let the same happen to their successors as well.
And more importantly, take care that you, too, do not join their ranks by being a traitor to principle.
Examine your actions and ask yourself with no mercy whether you, too, are guilty of the same favoritism. You will not heal this country for as long as that blindfold is draped over you- you will merely be another tool for blind partisan hackery, and the further undoing of the Republic.