"Captain Sobel?" Major Dick Winters (Damian Lewis), as Sobel tries to avert his eyes from Winters'.
"Major Winters." Captain Herbert Sobel (David Schwimmer), nodding.
"Captain Sobel! We salute the rank, not the man."
Points, Band of Brothers, (2001)
Dad was a patriot, in the strictest sense. He had once written the blank check to Uncle Sam every military member tenders - "Payable, up to and including my life." He'd fought as a Marine on Saipan, and Iwo Jima. In 1946 he returned home to Philadelphia, to finish high school.
He was also a Republican. He understood and accepted the need to stand up to communist aggression in Vietnam, but didn't much care for the way it was being handled. President Johnson had made glaring errors, he thought, and American kids - he always called them kids - were paying with their lives. LBJ was the object of derision during the inevitable dinnertime discussions.
My brother Dave and I picked up on the vibe. One afternoon, intent on putting a few holes in a target, we repaired to the back yard, BB gun in one hand and the cover of Time magazine in the other. A cover featuring President Johnson and VP Humphrey. We didn't get very far.
"I don't care for your selection of targets," Dad said, using a hushed tone that signaled disappointment. "Find something else."
That was the lesson for the day. No yelling, nothing belaboring the point. We were 14 and 12. The message - respect the office, don't cross the line - was read loud and clear.
Which makes the recent internet hoo-rah about the red-haired woman and the Trump mask all the more puzzling. Didn't anyone teach her manners when she was young? If not, why not?
Maybe she's lucky, I guess. If I pulled an asshole stunt like that, it would be on me. I was taught better growing up, by a guy who knew how to respect someone with whom he disagreed. Maybe, at some point, somebody forgot to teach that to her.
Or, maybe she's just an asshole.