Sunday, March 16, 2008

Memories of Testosterone

In response to my recent post (appearing here and at Cogitamus) about the killing of the Republican brand, Lisa Simeone posted a comment quoting New York Times reader Mitch Luckett of Washington, who'd written a response to Maureen Dowd's latest column (got all that?!) Anyway, I felt this gentleman's words--chilling, articulate, and powerful--really got to the heart of the matter and deserved to be spotlighted. Herewith, the comment:

Bush is suffering from what I call, "memories of testosterone." I see it in many middle-aged friends of mine who were draft dodgers, AWOL and just plain cowards during the Vietnam war. As young men, they didn't use their testosterone when they had plenty of it and now, in some strange--but still safe--way are romanticizing combat and thereby recapturing the one way deemed certain in our society to prove their manhood. A manhood, I might add, that, with increasing age, gets further out of reach if abandoned in youth. For years my friends chided and poked fun at me because I was "stupid" enough to obey the draft law. That all stopped about the time we turned fifty. Then I began receiving curious, if not bizarre, invitations. One friend, who went AWOL and spent 5 years in Canada weaving tree bark into peace signs, called me up and tried to get me to join his Civil War Re-enactment brigade: "We get to wear uniforms and carry rifles and mock shoot the other side. It's great fun." His enthusiasm for war games would have been amusing had it not been so revealing. I declined, claiming gout. Another middle-aged "peace-neck" friend joined the NRA and started collecting WWI weapons, and still another became an apprentice blacksmith at a Washington Army installation that forged officers' swords. When the four of us get together we--that is they--tell bogus romantic war stories and encourage me to tell authentic romantic war stories. I know some authentic ones, but none romantic and authentic. I can't of course. Those of us that have been there got the romance kicked out of us in about ten seconds. My socializing with my post-fifty draft-dodgers is depressing. Much more so than when they used to mock me for going to Viet Nam. It's depressing as well because Bush reminds me of them--and vice versa. Could it be Bush attacked Iraq merely for memories of testosterone? To prove his manhood because he failed so miserably to do so when he was a young man. And worse, does he really believe he is doing our young military men and women a favor by starting this war? You know, could be. The only thing more powerful than testosterone itself is memories of testosterone. And that's because the person with memories of testosterone has the political power to go along with it. Bang! Bang! You're dead. I'm finally a man. Better late than never.

-- Mitch Luckett

I've heard many an admirable attempt to explain the inexplicable when it comes to Dear Leader's actions. This one shouts Eureka.

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