JEALOUS CRITICS: Psuedo-Heroes Versus the Real Thing

Written by Chuck Gruenwald on January 24, 2015

While watching American Sniper in a local theater on Tuesday night, I realized the irony of my decision to watch a movie about the life of an American whose death went unrecognized by the man who was delivering the State of the Union address at that moment. Sadly, such a decision by Barack Obama to not comment on the senseless death of Chris Kyle back in 2013 is not surprising, since he is probably still trying to decide whom to send to the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher.

It is also sad, but not surprising, that the decision by Mr. Kyle to dedicate his life to what he believed in and loved has come under verbal attack by people who make a living by either pretending to be other people, or make a living hiding behind the safety of a keyboard, not risking their lives for others under the limited safety of Kevlar.

With all of the hyper-real-world problems that Mr. Kyle had to struggle with, it is safe to assume that he would ignore the opinions of people whose workplace is a reality that doesn’t exist.

Mr. Kyle dedicated his brief life to giving countless Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and civilians a second chance to live, a chance to have children, children who will eventually have children of their own. Those unborn children are a big part of a continuing legacy that will ripple throughout history. His Hollywood and media critics are subconsciously aware of this fact, and it has driven many of them to a point of rambling hatred, since those people realize that their virtual legacy will end once the hard drive or film reel that contains their final movie or column is relegated to rot in some nondescript landfill.

The difference between Chris and fictitious film heroes is that while seeing death and having to inflict it had taken a heavy toll on him mentally, the Hollywood characters who do the same thing are desensitized to what they do; actors are not held accountable to their characters. It’s ironic though, that Clint Eastwood, an actor whose character Dirty Harry had such a cavalier approach toward killing, did an excellent job as the director of American Sniper connecting humanity and death.

Whereas the likes of Quentin Tarantino celebrate violence as an expression of artistic creativity (entertainment), the violence in American Sniper, especially the scene where a power drill is used to torture and kill a young boy, serves a purpose: it actually happened.

Those graphic scenes also serve as a sobering reminder to those who place a high value on each human life that pain is not entertainment, but true evil in the world; an evil that recognizes brute, deadly force as the only means of negotiation and/or control.

If Hollywood could comprehend the value that conservatives place on each human life, then the impact of the death of every character in every movie and TV show would be a part of the story line. Would Mr. Tarantino follow the after-effects of the death of a character? Would he show the grieving family members and friends of someone who is tortured and murdered in any one of his movies?

You could give examples of the horrors of torture under Communist and Islamic control to those who downplay snipers as cowards, or believe that Republicans want to starve schoolchildren. You could show them videos of beheadings, but everything that you use to make your argument will have no meaning unless they comprehend the evil within the reality that conservatives choose to not hide from.

Instead of acknowledging true evil, leftist actors and journalists choose to criticize those who do.

A professional critic is a person who has no concept of success, since he or she has never tried to accomplish it, but is quick to highlight what they perceive as failure on the part of those who accept the challenge of finding success. In other words, a critic chooses confinement within a tiny comfort zone, a doer is someone who asks, and then works to answer the question “what’s next.” Dedicating one’s life to criticizing others is a life of shame, while dedicating one’s life to defending others, as well as a set of noble ideals, is a life worth emulating.

Perhaps an observation from former President Ronald Reagan best summarizes the futile hatred toward an individual who has literally expressed his love and dedication to what he believed. When asked if he was worried about the fact that his legacy may fall victim to revisionist history, Mister Reagan replied that history will remember his accomplishments.
Despite any attempts to deviate from written history in order to fit a course that revisionists deem acceptable, covering the past as it had occurred is like covering a lie with other lies: the lies will eventually cancel each other out, and the truth will become as obvious as a missed dirt spot on a freshly-washed car.

What the actors and journalists who try to belittle and try to purge Mr. Kyle’s accomplishments from history fail to realize is that once you are committed to serving your God, your country, and your family, and you have done your best to fulfill that commitment, despite the heavy emotional and physical toll, the words of critics fail to register as even background noise, even the non-spoken words from a leader who chooses golf over grieving.



Born in Chicago and raised in northwest suburban Cook County, Chuck Gruenwald developed an unfavorable opinion of machine politics quite early in life. In addition to cars, electronics, law enforcement, and politics, Chuck enjoys writing, and is also a horse racing fan. He has recently written op-eds for