Its a fairly good rule of thumb that when an activist or academic these days proposes to "expand the definition" of a "socially constructed" idea, they're proposing to water down the meaning of some timeless concept to the point of absurdity. After relativizing ideas such as male and female, nations, and entire religions, the newest initiative is to expand the idea of "veterans" to people who have volunteered as "activists."
In a recent op-ed written for LGBTQnation, leftist professor Dr. Warren Blumenfeld's idea would be considered fairly radical by most, but he cleverly couches it in patriotic language to make it more palatable to mainstream readers, saying activists should be given the same honor as war veterans.
"Individuals who stand up and put their lives on the line to defend our country from threats to our national security, as those in our nation’s military do, are true patriots and veterans. But true patriots and veterans are also those who speak out, stand up, and put their lives on the line by actively advocating for justice, freedom, and liberty through peaceful means... take a few minutes to consider those fighting a cultural and figurative civil war to reduce the violence and injustice and place the United States in higher standing around the world.’"
Granted, the author establishes some credibility for himself and his argument by not only praising real combat veterans, but by explaining how our country honors people who have fought in the public arena of ideas and policy. Our founding fathers were not all necessarily war heroes, many of whom were men of great and ambitious ideas rather than military prowess.
Where his argument falls apart however, is that it would be more credible if the idea of "tyranny," "violence," and "social-justice" weren't so trivialized by today's activists and academics themselves.
Many of our society's news media and entertainers see Trump as the new "Hitler," and see opposing him by any means necessary as a noble act for protecting American values. To some, statues of the American founding fathers should be taken down, and the poem The New Colossus (tacked onto the Statue of Liberty to co-opt its meaning 17 years after it was built) is more important than the constitution itself. Consider how many equate civilly explained opposing viewpoints as "hate speech" which hypothetically "could lead to violence," using that as an excuse to violently disrupt rallies by Donald Trump or by conservative speakers at universities.
According to The Daily Wire's coverage, in an interview with "Fox & Friends," a retired Marine Corps veteran by the name of Joey Jones who had lost both of his legs in Afghanistan found Blumenfeld's op-ed "pretty laughable."
"These men and women — these GI Joes, GI Janes — they are regular people," Jones commented. "They didn’t go to private school, they didn’t get their feelings hurt at the unfairness of things, they chose to serve their country, and they chose to do something that truly transcends these tit-for-tat politics that we play here in this country... To say this term applies to everyone who might get upset and hold up a sign somewhere, that doesn't make any sense at all," Jones concluded.
Blumenfeld later responded to this critique by showing his true colors as a member of a biased intelligentsia, saying that his op-ed "challenges the Patriarchal structure of domination and control, and the resistant backlash has been vicious. (Remember, not only cismales support the Patriarchy, though it clearly benefits cis males the most.)"