Capitalist, Political Activist or Grave Robber?

If the left has learned any lesson over the last few decades of media domination, it is the art of the visceral message.  Anti-war rally to attend?  Make sure you have a coffin draped with an American flag and a sign equating Bush to Hitler…make sure to have a catchy slogan to chant, something that grooves to the beat of a bongo like, “Bush Lied, Soldiers Died”.  If I were a more cynical girl, I would posit that they have learned to keep their slogans short and their visuals basic so as to not tax the mental capacities of their audience of like-minded peers.

Dan Frasier, a seemingly rare embracer of capitalism among the socialists, communists and anarchists of the left, has taken this lesson to heart.  His product line features the aforementioned catchy slogan, atop a list of soldiers who have died in Iraq serving our country.  

He is making money off these fallen heroes, although according to his website, he isn’t really a very good capitalist, “In fact, it is not clear that the shirts have generated any profits at all.  Much of the first batch of shirts was sold at a deep discount. The shirts were complex to design and expensive to produce. The cost of the shirts has been kept as low as possible to encourage sales and spread the important message. Of course, this product is not meant to be a statement on behalf of the families or the fallen soldiers” said Frasier in an open letter on his website.

Okay, I will admit that I was not an economics major, so maybe I am missing something here.  The shirt is not making much a profit because our friend Dan wants to encourage sales to spread the important political message he believes in, but the message is somehow not meant to be a statement on behalf of the men and women who appear on his shirt.  So Dan isn’t doing this for the money, he is doing it to spread a political message.  So this isn’t actually a product as much as it is an advertising tool.  

Arrrghhh….my head hurts. Those rascally lefties!  Dan isn’t a capitalist after all, he is a political activist!  Darn, I knew it was too good to be true.

Frasier may not be a good capitalist, but he is an accomplished grave robber.  He is using dead soldiers, soldiers who can’t protect themselves, to further his own personal agenda.  He can do so without the censure of these men and women because they are dead. They are unprotected, unable to be heard, unable to approve or dispute his use of their names.  They can not be interviewed on the nightly news to counter his association of their life’s work with his personal cause.  They can not call a lawyer to demand the removal of their names nor can they demand a share of his meager profits because, as we have established, he is not a very good capitalist.

It is left to the families of these fine men and women to pursue justice.  It is not enough that wives and children and parents must attend funerals and empty closets of personal effects.  They must now bear the injustice of a political activist aligning their loved ones with a belief and for a cause that they had no opportunity to endorse or dispute.

Frasier has received his share of ire and criticism from families who are less than pleased with his use of their loved ones, “I want to acknowledge that a number of relatives of fallen soldiers have contacted me to express their displeasure (or disgust) with the products I sell that bear the names of their loved ones….The statement on the shirt is much more about the president than about the troops. The names of the troops are used to underscore the scale of the human tragedy caused by the president’s lies” said Frasier.

But Frasier is unmoved by the heartbroken widows, the fatherless children and the mothers and fathers who have outlived a child, “Despite these requests, I have no plans to remove any names or discontinue any of these products, no matter how many requests I receive.”  Because Dan’s opinion is the most important thing to Dan.  Getting his message out trumps all sense of humanity and empathy.  Dan’s political agenda is more important to him than the feelings of a few heartbroken Americans.  Wait….a political agenda is more important than the concerns and feelings of fellow Americans?  Isn’t that one of the cardinal sins that Dan and his ilk accuse George Bush and his supporters of all the time?  I know…do as I say and all that.

“And if we could somehow poll the fallen themselves, we might be surprised at how many of them would agree with the statement that these products make,” Dan asserts in his letter.

Well Dan, we can’t do that can we.  As I mentioned, they are DEAD!  They can not speak for themselves.  They are left to grave robbers and vultures to use them for personal gain.

I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on Dan.  After all, he has been tutored well by movement leaders like Cindy Sheehan, the mother of all grave robbers.  She has turned the death of her son Casey into a cottage industry.  A woman, who could formerly not attract any interest or audience for her special brand of lunacy, has used Casey’s name and accomplishments to pay her bills and created a career out of public mourning.  Despite the public outcry from other members of Casey’s family (who strangely do not seem to get the same coverage that momma Cindy does nor do they seem to be profiting off of  their fallen hero), Cindy’s paycheck comes as a result of Casey’s sacrifice.  He, like the victims of Dan Frasier’s grave robbing, will never be heard.