Stupid? YES! Treason? NO!

No, I’m not talking about Edward Snowden or Bradley (Chelsea) Manning. The latter’s crimes didn’t amount to treason as adjudicated by the military judge presiding over his general court martial.

Edward Snowden—IF he’s ever returned to this country—won’t be tried for it, either. The rumblings we’ve heard in the U. S. Senate amount to nothing more than a few senators succumbing to emotional hissy fitting and, I suspect in a couple of cases, attempts to mine a few votes.

No, I’m talking about Jane Fonda (aka Hanoi Jane); she’s prominently back in the news for two reasons. First, she portrays Nancy Reagan in the movie, The Butler. And second, the nation’s veterans are foaming at the mouth over it—particularly Viet Nam Era veterans.

For the record—although I’ve stated it many times on this site—I’m a Viet Nam veteran (two combat deployments as a matter of fact). Also, this piece is MY opinion ONLY. I have neither the right, nor would I ever presume, to speak for my fellow veterans.

I thoroughly understand their positions, and I understand Ike Boutwell’s, position (the Kentucky theater owner). I not only understand their positions; I also share their contempt for Jane Fonda as it applies to her 1972 Hanoi actions.

Mr. Boutwell has every right to refuse showing The Butler in his theater complex. I in no way question his rights, but I do question his logic. In MY opinion, he should have published his feelings but shown the movie, and then let the movie-going public boycott it; it would have been so much more effective.

Aside from any PERSONAL satisfaction he’s derived, the fact is that no matter what Mr. Boutwell does, he’s not hurting Jane Fonda. In spite of her Hanoi blunder, she’s an Oscar-winner and a business entrepreneur who’s become a multi-millionaire—if not a full-blown billionaire. And she’s already been paid relative to The Butler.

Dr. Thomas Szasz (04/15/1920-09/08/2012) said, “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” He was a psychologist, and he didn’t mean “forgive” in the Biblical sense of “turning the other cheek.” He meant it in the secular sense as in “moving on.”

I well remember her trip to Hanoi; even though by July of 1972 I was tucked safely back home. But THAT was over 41-years ago! It’s well past the time for people to get OVER it, not FORGET it, but for God’s sake FORGIVE it as in MOVE ON!

While in my opinion her behavior amounted to contempt of the highest magnitude and disgust plunging to the lowest depths of human decency; it didn’t amount to LEGAL treason. Was it an EMOTIONAL gut-kick? YES!

Legal treason is a steep up-hill trek for prosecutors; which is why fewer than 30 people have been so charged since 1789. And only a small percentage of these have been convicted.

So, just as in the cases of Snowden and Manning, it’s fruitless and silly to bellow TREASON every time someone mentions Fonda’s name.

I chalk her actions up to having amounted to a prime example of what happens whenever there is a confluence of sincere ignorance, conscientious stupidity, a boat load of money, and an army of news-starved pandering reporters.

We inevitably end up with animated portraits of clueless—but globally known celebrity twits—wondering around the halls of life with, figuratively speaking, large signs on their backs that read “I’m an asshole!”

She’s apologized more times than I care to remember, but some hurts simply cannot be assuaged with even the most sincere of apologies. But thankfully, when it comes to mental hurts, time is very efficient at applying scar tissue to ease pain. But this can’t happen unless we permit it.

We’ve all done stupid things, and even though some people leave us with the impression that they’ve never done anything stupid, fear not; I’ve personally been guilty of enough stupidity to more than make up for their implied saintliness!

So once again, “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but don’t forget.” These are three clearly different pairs of shoes.

But as always, people are free to choose which pair they want to wear. I’ve made my choice. And while it will take my death to forget, I think it’s well past the time to forgive—as in MOVE ON—relative to Jane Fonda.

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