MSNBC is not known as a network that sympathizes with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, but this Memorial Day weekend, rather than put aside their political differences to salute our men and women in uniform, a panel on Chris Hayes’ show instead engaged in a debate over how to refer to our fallen soldiers.
Specifically, the panel debated over using words like “hero” because– in their words– the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t “worthy” causes.
Chris Hayes introduces the issue:
“I feel uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that…”
Watch the clip below, via Mediaite:
John McWhorter of the New York Daily News continued: “…I would almost rather not say ‘hero’ and come up with a more neutral term…I share your discomfort with those words because they are argumentational strategies in themselves, often without wanting to be.”
Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast, who recently compared Ann Romney to Hitler and Stalin on the same network, added: “There are people who are genuine heroes, but the kind of implication is that death is what makes you a hero, you know as opposed to any kind of affirmative act or moral act…”
After reassuring that there is honor and valor in the military, Goldberg said: “It’s more just that, it’s a way of ennobling sacrifices that have a lot of nobility for the individual, but to say that someone kind of died heroically suggests that they died worthily, or that they died in the pursuit of a worthy endeavor…” [Emphasis added]
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