Ranger Up tackles Civil Discourse in Veterans Day video

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Ranger Up tackles Civil Discourse in Veterans Day video

Love this:

Now I should note up front that I am friends with Nick Palmisciano here (and we are both die-hard fans of a certain 8-1 football team that wins Super Bowls like most people win coin flips) and I know Tim, so I'm obviously somewhat prejudiced.  Nonetheless, a good article from Task and Purpose talked about the video:

"This is the most contentious political climate of my lifetime," Nick Palmisciano, the CEO and Founder of Ranger Up, and a former Army infantry officer said of the decision to create the video, titled Lead the Way.

"And while there is nothing wrong with passionate differences in desired policy, we've got powerful people calling on social media and traditional media for Civil War, the dissolution of many constitutional rights, and generally [vilifying] people who share differing opinions. I don't think that's who we are as Americans, and I don't think that's really who we want to be either. The idea of this campaign is to remind veterans of different political persuasions that we all wore the same uniform, did the same jobs, and loved each other unequivocally."

The video was produced by Palmisciano and Tim Kennedy, a former UFC fighter and Army Green Beret, and is part of an effort by Ranger Up to encourage veterans to take a leadership role in creating a more civil discourse leading up to this year's Veterans Day.

"We're supposed to be tough men and women who have gone through a lot of things. We were taught to control emotion and use training and logic to solve problems in the worst situations," Kennedy said in a recent statement. "There is nothing scary about being a decent human being and having a conversation, so why do we allow ourselves to degrade others. I'm personally a passionate supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and yet I've sat down with people who don't understand or appreciate gun rights and had really pleasant conversations. I've taken flak for it, but it was the right thing to do. I look forward to taking flak for this is well."

It doesn't matter what post I put up here, on every Thursday I am guaranteed when the Online Update goes out with a link to it that I am going to get tons of comments that I have to filter through.  And I only post about 50% of them, because regardless of the topic the comments are going to be people either bashing the President or bashing the other side of the aisle.  Even on articles that have nothing to do with politics.  And then someone else will chime in saying how they've been a member for 20+ years and they are not renewing because there are too many righties/lefties in the Legion and that side is evil and wrong.

And it makes me sad.  When I post something about our military working dogs serving on the raid to take down Baghdadi I shouldn't have to wade through 8 tons of comments bashing heel spur deferments or Nancy Pelosi.  Ranger Up understands that this is a dengerous time for all of us, and I love this video.  I'm sure some will dislike it for that very reason, but I don't understand why we can't all just agree to disagree.  I can't even post things tangentially related to politics on my own Facebook page without people complaining.  When did this happen to us?

Sort of reminds me of something that happened in Afghanistan with a friend of mine.  He was in a guard tower with me one day and went all in on Global Warming discussions.  I didn't know enough to cogently argue with him, so I did what I thought I should do, ordered a bunch of books off Amazon and read both sides.  The next time we were in a tower together I brought it up and told him I was ready to discuss it.  He just started laughing at me and said "I was just messing with you, I don't actually care either way, I just wanted to see how fired up I could get you."

Now he's a close friend and even he liked throwing rhetorical grenades into the room.  But at the end of the day, he and I are still brothers, as everyone who served was my brother or sister.  It's time we all try to remember that.


Posted in the burner | 74 comments
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This is an impossible approach. You're asking people to go back in time before everyone lost their minds.

Good luck, but the best choice is to keep your head down.

Good Advice

I'm age 81, served 1955-1961 USN on Destroyer Escort at Norfolk. Also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution with both sides of family coming to America in early 1700's and fought beside George Washington for our freedom.My Great Grandfathers were Union officers in Civil War, My father served in USN in WW I, my Brother-in-laws served in WW II infantry and B 29 pilot I am so totally fed up with all the political crap we are having to put up with and with crooked people in office and the total disregard they have for our countries border protection and always destroying the military budget or firing top ranked officers like Obama did without cause.If we don't take a firm stand against all the other dictators we will have another Pearl Harbor or Cuban Crisis Stand firm and stand together other wise we will be destroyed by China and Russia

We all served to earn and maintain the ENTIRE Bill of Rights and our Constitution. To me that means that we have to be willing and able to listen to and respect the speech of all sides of topic, and at the end of the day be able to "agree to disagree". That's what FREE SPEECH requires of us if we want our Constitutional Republic to work. A "civil war" is an ugly thing, and will rip our country apart, and solve nothing at the end. It's what those that meddle in our elections would like us to do. Let's be stronger than that.

Differences of opinion are not the problem. The problem is with those who are actively working to abridge the 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, 2nd Amendment right to self defense, due process under the law, etc. The Left is no longer satisfied with advocating a more empowered Federal Government within the bounds of the Constitution, they advocate a new social order where the rules of government are made up as we go along.
If you took that oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic," and do not see the Left as domestic enemies of the Constitution, then you ate not paying attention to their STATED agenda.

The rampant illegal immigration (not the same kind where all our ancestors stood in line), the sexualization of children, the total crony corruption of our permanent political class, and many other topics that threaten the stability of our financial, moral and political futures cant be overlooked any longer. I took an oath in 1969. Oaths do not expire

Straight up video. I like ur thoughts as written.

Seems to me we are already at the doorstep of a civil war. People forget we are a Republic of Laws, not a socialist nation bent on the whims of power brokers and greedy parasites.

When one side is calling for violence, for ignoring the Constitution and vilifies everyone who does not agree with them, how do you have civil discourse?

Conservatives have not started the violence that has occurred, how about go convince the other side to have a polite conversation instead of screaming at us and not allowing us to speak?

They post "coexist" bumper stickers on their cars, how do you coexist with someone who has sworn to kill you?

Well put. Hard to have a valid discuss with somebody arguing for free speech and then demonstrating against somebody making a speech. Then they cancel the speech. This has gone well past the tipping point!

It's like pulling teeth to try to get a much needed 7th r.hip revision from the VA/Triwest, put in fot compensation from injury in military and aggravated injury of same. No one cares to help.

WOW, how powerful and how true. I am a Marine but I take my hat off to you for this....Thank You

I don't care if someone agrees with me or not. I will always express my thoughts, facts, and opinions. As far as discourse, I can be civil or not, depending on the circumstances.

As a veteran and the son of a veteran I take extreme umbrage from these leftist Democrats who are openly seditious and polarize this country. I am no longer polite or contrite with these useful idiots as I view them as domestic enemies of the Republic. I swore on a oath to protect and defend this country against enemies both foreign and domestic i.e. Democrats. I view them with extreme contempt and disgust.

So lets let the courts take care of what has to be done you who are Trump fans and those that are not
are you saying you don't trust the truth? That the courts won't let the truth out? Or is it that you don't want to know the truth or refuse to believe the truth. Vietnam 1964-1967 1967-1976 I seen the enemy just like all the veterans that fourth I seen both sides. I am was born here and I had some idiot call a officer ask me if I was a citizen after my grandfather father and son serve and have a brother in law that died in dog rock and I have 1 nephew in the air force and niece in the air force and a LT Commander in USN you know how that feels? NO! I wish I can tell you what I been through in the war but I had to swear I would never tell and I am not allow to go to any country that's our enemy . Just because of my name you are going to judge me and my family. You are pinning family against family like the Civil war what did we do? Fight so that we could be civil with one another we choose the law let's let it work we all are not going to be happy because we all can't win but this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE PLEASE LETS NOT FORGET THAT NO MATTER WHAT THIS IS THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

You are right everyone deserves the right to an opinion weather we agree or not. But we need to be able to work across the table for a better America. That’s what makes America the country it is. Being able to work for the betterment of all and supporting each other. The current political and society are so divided that nothing is being done in Congress for anyone or anything. That’s the reason I served to protect our rights to freedom of speech and opinions for all.

History does not tell the real story. The black soldiers in the conflict were on both sides (North and South]. But History Books don't tell the truth.

That is because only winners get to write the History Books and the Union decided the Civil War was about Slavery and not the Economic repression of the South by the New England ship owners.

A civil war? What's that? Recall Pogo's observation: "We has met the enemy and they is us." Standup Americans...eating your own is called "cannibalism". Pay attention, there are "religions" out there that are ready to pick the bones and establish "a new world order" which has a dictionary without the word "liberty" in it.

To get respect in a conversation it also has to be given. I decline to see that today in political exchanges.only attacks. Therefore, for me it's combat

Plz allow me to jump in. How about we agree on a few things. First, the article was well done! Second, we all have opinions but our arguments should be based on facts and data. I don't see that happening. Last, the issues before us are whether we become a socialist nation or maintain our 243+ year old constitution. Isn't that what everyone has fought for? Isn't that what the Declaration of Independence speaks to? Time to read or reread both the D of I and C of the US. How many of you have actually read it?

Talk of politics at my legion is at best, either you're "with us or against us" on agreeing on who's right or who's wrong, At the end of the day we all work together to help with our missions to aid our connected charities, Operation Christmas Hope, Honor Flight, etc.. but this countries division just says one thing, Putin has won! He has succeeded in his goal to divide and conquer. Think about it! A weak, mostly broke crap-ass corrupt oligarchy has brought us to our knees and so the next time you hear of ANYONE talking of a new civil war, remind them they are embolden to the true enemy, Russia!

The hateful climate in our country today has been created mostly in the last 60-75 years. We need as Americans to look at ourselves first and not judge others by our own histories. Maybe we learned our responses form our ancestors and on and on. We need to chill and take a breath before we lash out. Political, Racial, environmental, Financial all contribute to our responses. We need to analyze within before we go outward.

The MNS blocks almost all comments they disagree with. In their minds there is no First Amendment. Even the Wall Street Journal blocks comments they feel don't support their political point of view.

"Your comment has been queued for review by site administrators and will be published after approval."

BTW - I am a PUFL vet.

The First Amendment is what keeps the Government from censoring people's viewpoints.  It doesn't apply to private companies or organizations, either the media or The American Legion.  If a comment is threatening, profane, defamatory etc, we could be help legally responsible.  Ergo all comments are moderated, save for those from Facebook, which actually hosts the comments.

I am a combat vet from Vietnam and I believe that civil discourse is the desireable course of action , it isn’t a very realistic one. There is No real discourse on the infection we are experiencing today, rather a formidable wall dividing the country. There is no listening or learning going on which means increased tension and frustration with no positive results. I think we realize that we are seeing upheavals all over as the only way to get attention and hopefully change. Unfortunate that we let things get to this point.

The real problem IMHO is that few people know how to respectfully and rationally discuss issues any more. We should present facts and data supporting or refuting the issues WITHOUT ATTACKING THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES. Personal accusations like; "fool", "damned fool" and "ignorant fool" (and worse) are not a good substitute for knowledge and serve to emotionally charge the discussion sending logic and reason right out the door. We've been trained by the media and particularly television that the way to "win" is to vilify the opponent. Just listen to most of the television media rant about... well.. anything!

I am a combat vet from Vietnam and I believe that civil discourse is the desireable course of action , it isn’t a very realistic one. There is No real discourse on the infection we are experiencing today, rather a formidable wall dividing the country. There is no listening or learning going on which means increased tension and frustration with no positive results. I think we realize that we are seeing upheavals all over as the only way to get attention and hopefully change. Unfortunate that we let things get to this point.

Yes, the topic of politics is a verbal and personal Landmine.
Here's my 2 cents after 20 years of Army military service.

In politics, I'm independent voter however lean toward conservative and think both parties are screwed as conservatism as it "used" to be know is non-existent. I personal don't like Trump or his dialogue and do like some of his domestic and global politics and prefer him than the liberal "A-bomb" explosion waiting to burst. Trump is bad but a Democratic President would be worse in the global picture of domestic worlds stability!

Just what is it that your are trying to get across?.

Almost every comment here is in direct opposition to the substance of the video and the written word. After reading about treating others with differing opinions with respect, most of the commenters have spewed forth hate of the "other side". About once a month, four guys in our 70s and 80s get together for drinks, dinner and conversation; two Democrats - two Republicans. Three of us are veterans (two retired military) and one never wore the uniform. We agree we disagree, but we are great friends. In our get-togethers, words like libtard or right-wing crazy just don't come up. We respect each other while we disagree about lots of topics. I fought for this country -- not for the Republican or Democratic party. Discussion means talking and listening. Name-calling and categorizing people does not include listening. Please heed the message behind this video. Thanks for stepping up and creating the video.

We took the same oath: protect and defend the Constitution of the US. That was a heavy commitment. It required a direct and personal relationship with our Constitution, not filtered through a political party, nor politicians. Our allegiance was not to some party nor elitist ruling class. Just our Constitution. Once we relinquish our direct, personal relationship with our Constitution and replace it with a political party, we become fragmented tribes. Those tribes becomes OUR teams and the team leaders become OUR leaders, ensuring we see the world from tribal eyes. Those who question either the tribe or leaders become enemies of that tribe, and, if we are myopic enough, we see those who disagree as enemies. Our Constitution enshrines political power to us, the individual citizens of the US, not some party or elite ruling class. Sure, we relinquish a small amount of our power to elected politicians. but we do NOT relinquish our rights. Politicians are supposed to be tethered to the Constitution, with restricted powers, not to some party with unrestricted objectives. Politicians, and in turn, political parties hate restrictions and, inevitably fight such restrictions. All too often, political parties facilitate power grabs by telling its members to focus on the other tribes: their enemies. If that party has enough robotic tribal members, they reflexively attack the other tribes and seek victory while surrendering their constitutional power to their tribal leaders; Constitution be damned, the other tribes must be defeated at all costs.

How do you have a civil conversation with fellow citizens? Start by recognizing that YOUR political party, your tribe, is the biggest impediment toward civility and unity. Sure, you can and should criticize those who violate our Constitution, violate their oaths of office or otherwise engage in corruption and improper activities; but start your critique by examining those who lead your tribe. Maybe it's time to recognize that political tribes are not OUR teams, they have their own agendas. Make team America, as defined by our Constitution, your primary team and recognize that American citizens are on YOUR team. Then, hold your political party to your higher standards. Get your party to make OUR Constitution its primary foundation and denounce corrupt, elitists leadership bent on grabbing power. Once you have eliminated party corruption and malfeasance, then, and only then, extend your hand to other Americans on other teams trying to clean their teams. Make your politicians lead by example! If you believe in our Constitution, we are not enemies: we are all on the same team.

Very well put, I've said this same thing for years typically falling on deaf ears. We as the people also hold the power to remove and replace the elected officials for failure to hold true to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Thank you for writing it all out for me.

I applaud your comments. Of most of the responses I have read today, yours is the clearest, most concise of what every American should be espousing at this critical point in our History. Thank You my friend.

I served with the 1st Brigade 101st ABN Div. Recondo Platoon 1966-1968 in V.N. I am concerned that the rest of the nation will end up like California. One Democrat party rule. I was born and raised here. This used to be a beautiful state and now, just look at it. The new Progressive Democrat Party has ruined this state. Everyone wants to attack President Trump, but he has done a lot of good for our country and the veterans. I am a firm supporter of the 2nd amendment also. The DNC is responsible for an attempted coup to take over the Presidency. I can talk to old democrat party member, but this Progressive Party is too close to Communism.

Well if we kill all the Lawyers then we will have pretty much eliminated most of the House of Representatives and Congress. LOL. As far as Discourse by Veterans we have already been labeled home grown terrorist so with a label like that we will be the number one target if the 2nd Amendment is taken away. My point is be vigilant and prepared.

When one side lights the fire of over the top discourse, it gets really hard to put out the forest fire. We used to be able to discuss knowledgeably about issues with one another, but now so many resort to bumper sticker slogans as reason. They have no knowledgeable basis for their commentary or argument. We have a whole generation of young people that think socialism is a great idea, and will not discuss the results of other countries that have traveled that path: USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, China. It is really hard to put the genie back in the bottle, but we who have been through the military discipline must try to be the adults in the room.

I read and agree vs disagree with all comments as today's thinking. As much as I would hope Mike P pulls his head out of the sand or wherever it is stuck like most that do not have the real facts or truth in todays political arena. Then Michael Wests idea would be a good start and best results would have been achieved 40 years ago. Today I refuse to do any social media and wi.l discuss any topic or subject with a fellow veteran or confirmed supporter of the U.S. Constitution and all of the Bill of Rights or it would be a waste of both individuals time and frustrating!

Hi, I am a U.S. Army Veteran who served from 1986 to 1999. The divide IS truly tearing this country apart. I am neither Republican or Democrat. I refuse to identify as a particular persuasion. I agree with the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and the entire U.S. Constitution. So we can all agree to disagree on opinion but I will never waiver on my Oath. Our Oaths declared that we shall Defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, Foreign AND Domestic. The Constitution is not 'opinion'. It is right there in black and white for those who choose to read it. Our Constitution does have a method for change. It's one of the most beautifully genius ideas in it. That being said. Put up or shut up... right? If we think it is time for a change we can change it. If we don't have the means (ie votes) to change it then obviously it is not time.....

I have read many article & comments on the Internet (social media), newspapers & magazines. A tone has been set by our Media & if you take the time to digest what they say it is disturbing. Articles from our News Sources do not present the news they present Opinions & they Defend those Opinions even when the Media is shown those opinions are Wrong. It is our Media who set the Tone for Social Discourse NOT our Citizens or Politicians or anyone else BECAUSE no one else has the Ear of the Public like our Media. If you will take the time you will find that different Media Outlets will COPY another media outlet's article, THEN use that copy as FACT. I feel there are Few Reporters but there are Many Opinion Writers for Media Outlets which is the difference between an article based on Fact or Fiction.

This phrase pretty covers everyone on this page.
I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It

I read an interesting article in the Sacramento Bee Nov 12th: "Is tyranny the inevitable outcome of democracy." The writer notes that in a democracy, rhetoric seems to win over logic, eventually leading to tyranny. Do we appreciate the difference between the two? Is it personified in the difference between a true "news" station (give me the facts), and the more prevalent news commentary shows that vie for ratings? If we are fed rhetoric, how do we apply logic to it?

As much as I find the lack of civil discourse disgusting, I find it hard to even want to sit down with someone from "the other side" and understand their viewpoint. But I am convinced (logic or rhetoic?) that is the path forward. Not to convince the other person they are wrong but to recognize we are all bothers that are maybe just seeing/experiencing different parts of the elephant. I think the trick would be to get away from the rhetoric and focus on logic, while acknowledging the emotions we are experiencing. The big impediment? Maybe that we have been schooled in sound bites and find it hard to take the time to listen.

Where does that leave me? "We have met the enemy, and it is us..." Like you said: if not me, who?

IT is impossible, because of their very nature, to negotiate/compromise with an extremist [left or right]. Until our political system expunges itself of extremists [and their associated opportunists] a dialog would be fruitless. Used by the extremist for their own ends, no other. I offer Tehran and Kim Jong Un in example. Negotiations are meaningless in the face of extremist leadership.

more like hogs at the trough. sorry cannot be done anymore

Its time we-veterans stop putting our political party politics, religious, personal & and/ or political ideologies over or above our country, when i served my country as a combat medic in the Us air force, i didn't serve a red nor a blue America, i served to protect & defend the United States of America against all enemies , both foreign and domestic so help me God. I proudly served for my Beloved God, Country, Family, Friends & For All The People Of The USA!!!

As a Vet I think this short film clip was simple and straightforward.
Message received loud and clear!
Like to see more of this in the future.
Hold your head high and speak your piece while you still can.
If ever there was a time for this comment it is now and Failure is not an option!!

I will not turn a blind eye to trump’s lies and he has done nothing but disgrace to the office of the presidency I am a combat wounded Marine from the Vietnam war who volunteered for service came home got spat on now suffering from cancer this is not about party it’s about the right thing that was instilled to me by my parents


Yes, vote on the facts, not the “alternate facts”.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.