As usual, you are too kind. But that mythical future depends on what competing alternatives come to dominate the thinking of our tribe; the things we discuss here could also get us hung in effigy as examples of the worst scum imaginable. For instance, nothing like anything we say here will ever be kindly spoken by a Chris Matthews between his current racegasms.
One rule of conflict-- even conflict that we don't recognize as occurring, is that the winners write the new rulebooks. The Nuremberg Trials could have easily been the Annapolis Trials. They weren't because of one reason only; the Allies won the conflict, the Axis lost.
My father, passed in 2009, was a WWII vet who, when he talked about WWII at all, would say just that. One example he once quietly and sadly pointed out was the allied response to the Malmedy massacre; the allied payback was as bad and far worse(pows lined up on the road and driven over with halftracks, for example.) That, he said, was what war is; an ever escalating exchange of payback for what the other side did to the friends you'd die trying to protect until only one side is left standing. Don't even think for a second that there were any polite rules other than 'prevail.' What I admired about my father, maybe most of all, was that he came through that with his decency and humanity intact. But he and his generation had no ambivalence at all about the need to wage and win WWII; there was no other choice, it was an existential necessity.
Not so Vietnam, which confused and eventually disgusted him in the way it was entered, waged, and finally, walked away from. I had the opportunity to possibly attend West Point -- was recruited in HS to play football there, and my father was the one who talked me out of it. Go figure, he was an Army vet, TSgt in the 5th Armored(until it was all but destroyed in Holland)and then Patton's 2nd. His reason, in 1972? He thought the way our government was waging the war in Vietnam was insane, could not understand how our own government -- who by 1972 was making every indication that it was about to claim "never mind, America really didn't mean it" -- could ever justify waging any conflict if it was even remotely acceptable to end it like -that- with Nixon and other weasel lawyers cutting a deal with our supposed enemies. As I've pointed out here several times, that is apparent: if it is acceptable to end a conflict with "never mind, America really didn't mean it" then it was acceptable to have never entered the conflict to begin with. "Peace with Honor" was a Madison Ave concoction, a big lie insult to the nation. It was a monumental sign of weaseldom loose in our political leadership, either in the decision to wage the war, the choices made to wage it, or the choices made to end it. All might have been true at the same time: if it is necessary to enter a conflict-- a major war, where 55,000 of America's best ends up thrown into a meatgrinder -- then it is necessary to wage the war in such a manner as to win the war. If it is acceptable to not prevail in the conflict, then it is acceptable to have not ever entered the conflict, before the senseless throwing away of 55,000 lives and countless injuries and wounded. My father's sense of growing political weaseldom in the post JFK(they were almost exactly the same age)era grew with every passing year.
My father never attended college, but was one of the smartest people I've ever met. Was always reading something, our home was filled with not only books, but his example and curiosity. He was a master mechanic and tool builder, and ran the machine shop in a steel fab plant around here, worked for the same company for 40 years, took timeout only to go fight overseas.
Does modern America deserve what he and sixteen million of his buddies did for America 70 years ago, over 400,000 of whom perished?
We are pissing that America away. I pray there is no heaven, because at this point, I'd be afraid to face him and them, after what our generation has tolerated in this America, or whatever is left of it that is worth their spit.