Jane Fonda’s All Wet
At a recent book signing in Kansas City, Missouri, actor, entertainer, personality, celebrity, political advocate and now book author Jane Fond got a face full of chewing tobacco spit from former Vietnam Veteran Michael Smith.
“There are lots of veterans who would love to do what I did,” Smith was quoted as saying, and that’s probably quite true.
The wounds from Vietnam are far from being healed and in her younger years Jane Fonda even helped to pour salt on those wounds, as she has openly admitted, along with saying she was wrong for doing it, but Mr. Smith didn’t seem to accept her belated apology.
Ms. Fonda once went to North Vietnam, right in the middle of our conflict efforts, and posed for pictures in front of one of their weapons. That angered a lot of people, just like those who travel to Cuba these days angers a lot of people, just like President Nixon going to Communist China angered a few people.
We see this again, to a degree today, with Iraq and that conflict could end up as another Vietnam where the whole country fell a month after we left, making the soldiers who fought, lost limbs and the families of those who died wonder what we did it all for?
The problem with Vietnam, just like with Iraq, is we don’t have total commitment, not like we did in World War II where the Allies came in, took over an area, totally ousted the German Army and then established an Allied presence in the area that rules, in some instances right up to today, least we forget we have command centers in Germany, Japan and other nations involved in World War II. We’ve been an occupying force, along with the Russians, for over 40 years. That was commitment.
Least Mr. Smith forget, this country is entirely about freedom of speech and freedom of expression and Ms. Fonda was exercising her right to say: America: Wrong! Even though she now says that point of view was a mistake of a much younger girl who didn’t really know what things were all about and was influenced by the politics of those around her.
Oh, well I guess Mr. Smith does know about freedom of expression, as he did that with a mouth full of chewing tobacco spit, which made Jane Fonda all wet at her book signing, literally. Maybe she’s also all wet figuratively, who knows in the long run. She’s entitled to her view and he’s entitled to his.
What bothers me is that all Mr. Smith got charged with was disorderly conduct in an era where we know worry about bodily fluids least we catch AIDS, Herpes or any other number of serious, communicable viruses or diseases. We make our food service people wear gloves. We make those who work on our teeth sterilize machines that go into the mouth. Does not Mr. Smith realize his mouth is a walking germ trap? He should rightfully be charged with felony attack with a deadly weapon, with the intent to commit great bodily harm and if a test of his system shows any problems, that should be changed to attempted murder!
The kind of behavior Mr. Smith did should never be protected by the Constitution nor the courts. It’s just like yelling fire in a closed hall. It is not freedom of speech nor expression, not in an era where bodily fluids kill in epidemic proportions and we need to set an example for people as to what constitutes going too far.
What Ms. Fonda did was not going too far. She was not a representative of our government. She was just a person. She was not Tokyo Rose, she was trying to embrace all people without prejudice. Her actions did no more harm to our national image any more than the burning of flags or draft cards did by the state side protesters, who were in a major, major movement of the times.
What Mr. Smith did was literally disgusting and potentially dangerous to Ms. Fonda or anyone else he decides to hock a lugie onto! Maybe getting 20 years in a prison for doing that will have an effect on him and others like him and they will find a more effective way to express their feelings without endangering others.
Next time, Mr. Smith, use a fresh water balloon or a tomato. You’ll still get your point across and make Jane Fonda all wet, but the rest of us won’t have to freak out about getting mono or cold sores or any other “things” from the nasty germs in your mouth!