Two YouTube videos featuring babies and their mothers display a cultural clash over the reality of war, the price of freedom, and the purpose of parenthood.
In the first, from MoveOn.org, baby Alex’s mother addresses John McCain. She gushes about how Alex chases their dog and makes her heart pound. Then she asks whether Sen. McCain was counting on Alex when he said he “would stay in Iraq for 100 years”, her voice cracking. “You can’t have him,” she insists.
In the second, from the Marines of Chandler’s Watch and “the more than 42 million men and women who have fought in battle to protect our country”, baby Max’s mother addresses MoveOn.org. She pledges to teach Max “the strength and responsibility to protect this great country” and says that, “if he chooses to defend our liberty”, she “will be filled with pride” because “some selfless sacrifices are worth it”.
In these two videos, two world views are on display. In the first, the entitled, short-sighted selfishness that focusses squarely on one’s own interests, that sees parenthood as an exercise in self-satisfaction, that seeks to suck the blessings of liberty while doing nothing to replenish them. In the second, the recognition that freedom means responsibility, that some things are worth sacrificing for, that parenthood means teaching values and forming good character.
No one wants her child, or anyone’s child, to go to war. But we don’t live in the world we wish we had. We live in a fallen world, where things happen that shouldn’t, where we have to do things we’d rather not.
Twenty years from now, someone besides his mother might have to protect Alex. I bet Max will be up to the challenge.