Si vis pacem, para bellum – military historians, veterans, and our Founding Fathers would have recognized such sentiments and the times that produced them. So when that sacrifice isn’t respected, one can only imagine how those walking the wall might take exception.
Let’s review the details. Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is shot by a former Marine suffering from PTSD.
Ron Paul’s response?
Scott Lingamfelter — a former Army colonel — didn’t just take umbrage… he took aim.
From his release:
I served 28 years in the United States Army. I swore a sacred oath on the same Constitution that Congressman Ron Paul did. It sickens me that our party — the party of Reagan — could put on a Republican stage a candidate who holds our party, our process, our principles and our nation in such utter contempt.
Today, I call upon all my fellow Republicans, especially Ken Cuccinelli, our Attorney General candidates, and my opponents for Lieutenant Governor to publically and definitively repudiate Dr. Paul’s position regarding this American hero.
As one of our most revered GOP ancestors said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Our Republican house is divided. It’s not Conservatism that needs fixing; it’s our leaders that need fixing. Any leader who in essence spits on the grave of a soldier who swore an oath to defend our Constitution, our nation, our people – any man or those that follow him that adheres to such disgust for our servicemen as Dr. Paul apparently has, is worthy of utter disdain. (emphasis original)
…and with one heartfelt expression, Lingamfelter probably cost himself the nomination.
Why? Because Ron Paul supporters in particular took deepest offense. Anti-liberty, defending Ron Paul’s statement, deploring violence — and it’s no small secret that Ron Paul supporters (particularly those friendly to Susan Stimpson) have been running a black-ops campaign against Lingamfelter for months.
Of course, these rogue Ron Paul supporters are 100% wrong to attack Lingamfelter. Something to consider:
(1) Lingamfelter is a veteran.
(2) Lingamfelter is an Army officer.
(3) Lingamfelter knows a lot of fine individuals who live by the sword.
(4) …and die by the sword.
(5) So that you don’t have to.
Nevertheless, Lingamfelter is savvy enough to know that by coming out with such a statement in a convention atmosphere, he has more than likely cost himself the Lieutenant Governor nomination. Ron Paul supporters will be slow to forgive.
Ron Paul’s apology was interesting in its own right:
“As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies. -REP”
Short version: Violence begets violence.
Such a statement wouldn’t raise even so much as an eyebrow if said in a benign environment. But say it just after the death of an American hero? After he was counselling a former Marine suffering from PTSD?
Chris Kyle’s brother Jeff put it best:
“Above all else, Chris was a unique individual, an amazing loving father, husband, son, brother, friend and devout Christian who had a profound effect on the lives of those that he touched. Chris was publicly known for being the president of Craft International and the author of the best-selling book ‘American Sniper.’ Chris, a former Navy SEAL, served four combat tours in operation Iraqi Freedom and elsewhere.
“We’re all saddened by his tragic death. And America has truly lost one of its finest sons and a true patriot,” Kyle added.
Ron Paul’s point was simple. Violence encourages more of the same. Ineloquently expressed? Definitely…
That same grace in interpreting Ron Paul’s statements most certainly should be applied in interpreting the righteous anger of Scott Lingamfelter. Any combat veteran would react similarly to any inference that America’s heroes deserve violence.
Let’s be clear. Our soldiers are protecting us from the violence of others. Lingamfelter may not have made a politically calculated move, but then again… this wasn’t about political calculus — it was about honor.