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Are You Too Good for a Crew Cut?

August 24th, 2009 · 8 Comments

From the annals of “catchy political slogans that seem kinda creepy when you think about them,” a radio ad for the progressive group Blue Century:

We train our soldiers – never leave a team member behind. It’s a code of  honor. Why is that good enough for our troops, but not the rest of us?

Just, you know, going out on a limb: because a free society doesn’t organize itself on the model of a military platoon?

Tags: Journalism & the Media



8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Emily // Aug 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    “Just, you know, going out on a limb: because a free society doesn’t organize itself on the model of a military platoon?”

    Ha. No, it doesn’t, but the sentiment from the ad also isn’t just a militaristic one. Sort of a human kindness and solidarity one, or?

  • 2 John Markley // Aug 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm


    There are any number of examples that could evoke human kindness and solidarity. They chose an example characterized by strict subordination, hierarchy, regimentation, and obedience, and which exists for the purpose of violently subduing opponents.

    Now, odds are that whoever wrote the ad didn’t think it through beyond, “Hey, the military is respected and stirs feelings of patriotism, let’s mention that.” But it’s still bothersome as an example of how so many people in politics seem to treat the military and military life as the supreme model of virtue and citizenship.

  • 3 RickRussellTX // Aug 24, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    “never leave a team member behind”

    It would be nice if our military and political leadership subscribed to the same philosophy. If they showed as much respect for the rank-and-file as the rank-and-file showed for each other, maybe we wouldn’t have 5000 dead US soldiers.

  • 4 southpaw // Aug 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    To the extent you’re saying that, in the abstract, a principle you teach soldiers is not necessarily applicable to a democratic polity, of course I agree.

    But if you’re saying that the specific principle in question here is inherently militaristic, or has no applicability to a democratic polity, I heartily disagree.

  • 5 Julian Sanchez // Aug 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I’m saying I’d rather see the principle defended on it’s own merits, not as an extension of martial honor.

  • 6 Paul Wright // Aug 25, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I think the key phrase is “We train”. Don’t get uppity about the military. Everybody gets trained. What’s wrong with this being part of everyone’s training?

  • 7 Julian Sanchez // Aug 25, 2009 at 1:02 am


  • 8 southpaw // Aug 25, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I don’t know that a radio spot, by its nature, affords much space to establish or defend morals from first principles. In thinking of ways I’d seek to defend this principle (common interest, the frailty of the individual, reciprocal expectations, etc.), none seems particularly zippy or radio friendly.

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