The Cheap Exploitation Of People Like Cindy Sheehan
Like most Americans, I believe in showing a certain amount of respect for the dead. When someone dies, whether you like him or not, you should at a minimum keep your mouth shut and send your condolences to his friends and family. If you like the person or even if you don’t particularly like him and are feeling particularly generous, you may also say some nice things about him. In short, you don’t want to do anything to add to the burden of people who are grief stricken.
Unfortunately, this tradition has been abused numerous times by anti-war activists since 9/11. Time and time again, we’ve seen left-wingers trot out and publicize people who lost loved ones in Iraq or in 9/11, so they can exploit their grief for political gain. There was Kristin Breitweiser & the Jersey Girls, Lila Lipscomb in “Farenheit 9/11,” Michael Berg — whose son was decapitated in Iraq, and now Cindy Sheehan, who’s camped out at Crawford demanding to meet the President.
Of course, Sheehan has already met the President once, and had nice things to say about the experience at the time. But now, she doesn’t feel the same way and the attitude far too many people on the left seem to have is: “How can we use the death of this woman’s child to our advantage?”
So, they write about Sheehan in the blogosphere, they interview her on Air America, they dedicate whole websites to her: and why exactly?
There are certainly plenty of other families who’ve lost someone in Iraq who don’t agree with Sheehan about the war. Furthermore, it’s certainly understandable that Cindy Sheehan is upset about the loss of her child, but do wars become immoral or bad national policy decisions based on grief? If a grieving mother publicly complained to Roosevelt about WW2, should he have brought all of our troops home? Of course not, that would be foolish. But, the anti-war crowd still loves to take advantage of people like Sheehan because you’re not supposed to criticize their views since they’ve lost a child.
That being said, I don’t like saying this, but I find people like Cindy Sheehan and Kristin Breitweiser, who’ve parlayed the death of a loved one into 15 minutes of fame, to be more than a little bit ghoulish. Sheehan’s son died over a year ago and Breitweiser’s husband died on 9/11, yet they’re still out publicly demanding attention and sympathy for their loss. Is there a time limit on their “Get out of criticism free” card or do they get to espouse their ridiculous anti-war views forever more without contradiction because someone close to them died?
Almost all of us have lost someone we care about deeply at one time and it’s a traumatic experience, but very few of us have tried to indefinitely play on everyone else’s heartstrings because of it. Maybe, at some point, Cindy Sheehan and her anti-war supporters should start to take that into consideration…