My War on the War Metaphor

We’ve got a real live war in Afghanistan, part of the larger War on Terror. We had a second war in Iraq, but we’re putting it behind us. However, there is a lot of desire to start a new war in Syria or Iran or both.

Point is: we have real wars.

We don’t need to invent new wars.

  • Hillary Rosen’s stupid, and much apoligized-for, comments about Ann Romney gave rise to charges of a War on Motherhood.
  • Comments by Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh incited charges of a conservative War on Women.
  • Every fall, FoxNews obsesses over an alleged War on Christmas, which is all part of a larger War on Religion.
  • Liberals, citing denials of evolution and climate change, imagine a conservative War on Science.
  • Conservatives, who most like the war metaphor, also talk about a liberal/Democratic War on the Constitution and War on Freedom.
  • People talk about a War on the Rich, or a War on the Poor, depending on your political persuasion. All part of Class Warfare.
  • Both parties accuse the other of a War on the Middle Class.
  • It seems like forever that we’ve been fighting the War on Drugs.

I weary of this endless faux war-mongering, this War of Words. I’d like to declare a War on the War Metaphor. As with all of those Hitler analogies, we’re going way overboard.

Truth is, these wars are mostly just policy differences. I’m a Mac guy, but that doesn’t mean I’m waging a War on PCs. It’s just a personal preference. I don’t like spinach, little yappy dogs, Facebook Timeline, or the New England Patriots, but I’ve not launched any kind of war, declared or undeclared.

War is a terrible thing. When we describe policy disagreements as a war, we diminish the real deal. Just as describing political opponents as Hitler or Stalin diminishes the true evil of Hitler and Stalin.

So let’s stop it. No more wars. Just Afghanistan. Let’s fight that war, fight it well, and get it done. Everything else is just a difference of opinion.

(Postscript: Just watched the Monday night edition of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He riffed at length on this same subject. But hey, I was first!)

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