Fortunate Son IS pro the troops
Re Bruce Springsteen's singing "Fortunate Son" at that big Veterans Day concert HBO put on, from The American Conservative:
The song is not an “anti-war screed”; it is a song protesting the unfairness of the draft, and how the burden of war-fighting fell disproportionately on members of the working class who were not in college, and couldn’t get, say, five Vietnam War draft deferments, like some former vice presidents we could name. In that sense, performing that song last night was perfectly legitimate, even laudatory.Absolutely spot on. And so is this, from the same place:
Even if it were an anti-war screed, so what? The lyrics are written in the voice of someone who stands to be sent to Vietnam because of his class. It criticizes those who mouth patriotism, but who don’t want to send their sons off to die in a war they support. I think it was and is a perfectly valid and appropriate song to play at a concert meant to honor veterans. After all, they served. It is not critical of them, but actually defends them.
Fortunate Son is not “anti-military.” It is anti-elite. It is anti-politician. It is anti-Washington.There are all too many people in this country who seem to believe that supporting the troops means cheering the wars. It's good to see that not everyone on the right believes this.
And yes, it is antiwar.
War is bad. This should not be a controversial statement. Most people of any ideology should be able to agree that even when war is necessary, it is a necessary evil. In 1946, General Dwight Eisenhower delivered an antiwar screed of his own: “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”
Was Ike antimilitary? He was certainly antiwar.
War is brutal, futile, and stupid. Eisenhower saw battle firsthand. In “Fortunate Son,” John Fogerty asks why middle- and lower-class Americans are forced to see war up close while the political elite gets to keep a safe distance.
“Fortunate Son” is antiwar precisely because it is pro-military. It advocates for regular Americans who fight wars and against elites who make them.