Old songs are running through my head. When I say “old” you need to understand that such adjectives are relative. In my repertoire that includes “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee” from the 12th century. The “old” I refer to this time is from the mid 60's. I don’t know why the playlist was selected but it precedes without my approval. One that is wearing itself into the ground is titled “Even of Destruction.” The segment reverberating in my head goes,
Old enough for warI enjoyed singing and playing the song when I was a callow youth. It didn’t keep me from showing up for my draft physical. We sang a lot of things we didn’t think too deeply about. Looking back the reasoning seems a bit shallow.
But not for votin’,
Don’t believe in war
Then what’s that gun your totin’?
Can you be old enough to be drafted as a soldier and not be ready to vote? I would say yes. That goes double as I look at the maturity of the current crop of high school graduates. You can hardly tell the graduates from the drop-outs without a score card. The same can be said about college graduates. One solution might be to raise the voting age to 35 but when I listen to the current crop of elected officials I don’t think that would help.
For years people have talked about the benefits of the military experience. It helps young men to grow up. It teaches them discipline. It develops leadership. Many of these guys have never had to make a bed before. Young people usually need to do things under supervision before they are ready to have a say. Think of running a dairy farm and trying to put a young Greenpeace warrior in charge. It is very likely that the young worthy would try to milk a bull. It would not go well. There are places besides the military where the learning curve can be steep and dangerous.
And what about belief? I don’t “believe” in war. I also don’t believe in shooting people on the street but a little bit of judicious shooting and clubbing would have saved our major cities from the destruction of Antifa and BLM. I don’t believe in Santa Claus but I am sure I can find a picture of him somewhere in my house. I didn’t believe in the tooth fairy but I still put my tooth under the pillow.
I used to drive kids crazy when they would ask me if I believed in the focus of the day. I would tell them “No, I believe in Jesus.” Then to make things worse they might ask me what my sign was. What did I reply? You guessed it, “My sign is the cross.”
Old songs are warm fuzzies. They are also a chance to sit back and reflect.
homo unius libri