Dave Mustaine Almost Made a Good Point
CNN founder/gajillionaire Ted Turner recently went on Piers Morgan Tonight and put his foot in his mouth in a big, big way. While trying to express a good-hearted sentiment — that human beings were not meant to be violent creatures — he said “I think it’s good” that American soldiers are killing themselves, because it demonstrates that men are not inherently killers, and that making them into killers will have a negative effect on their psyches. This is a clear instance of someone totally misspeaking in the stupidest way possible (as opposed to, say, Romney claiming that his “forty-seven percent” comment was somehow misinterpreted), which doesn’t really excuse, but… I do think it’s worth keeping in mind that Ted Turner almost certainly does think it’s “good” that American soldiers are committing suicide. Turner has subsequently apologized, which was certainly the correct thing to do.
In any case, I don’t exactly begrudge people being pissed about this comment, because, as I said, it was a stupid way of making the assertion Turner was trying to make. And so, for a very brief moment in history, Dave Mustaine actually had the upper hand in terms of political rhetoric: here was a statement made by a famous liberal that he could totally attack without seeming like a nutcase! Which is what he began to do during a concert in Atlantic City:
“I was watching the news and there was a guy that said… he thinks it’s good that the troops are committing suicide.”
So far so sane, right? Except that Mustaine blew it pretty much immediately:
“Troops like us, you and me.”
ZUH? Since when was Dave Mustaine ever in the military??? Did I completely miss some episode from his life in-between being sacked from Metallica and founding Megadeth? No, no I did not. Mustaine went on to clarify:
“Like when I was 18, I put my name in for the Selective Service, like all of us, our brothers, our sisters.”
Selective service, in case you’re wondering, is they system by which the United States government keeps track of citizens of age to be drafted. Basically, right after you turn eighteen, you get this card in the mail that you have to fill out, and boom, you are now eligible to be drafted.
Of course, there’s two things to keep in mind when considering Mustaine’s assertion that this makes him (and “us”) one of the troops:
- Dave Mustaine was never drafted.
- Dave Mustaine as never drafted because the United States ended The Draft in 1973, when he was twelve years old.
So there really is no “us” here, beyond the sense of all United States citizens as an “us.” But Ted Turner didn’t say “I think it’s good that U.S. citizens are killing themselves.” And we know Mustaine knows this because he uses the word “troops” like three seconds before he uses the word “troops.”
So what the hell is he talking about?
Here’s video of the speech in question:
It’s worth noting that this is the same concert where Mustaine blamed President Obama for the loss of Twinkies. So dude really was on an all-around roll that night.