MSNBC host Chris Hayes is under fire today after claiming he is personally disgusted by Veterans Day.
During a segment on Morning Joe this morning the bespectacled pundit shocked hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough with his unorthodox views on the holiday, which he sees as a celebration of the military-industrial complex.
"I don't know about you, but Veterans Day makes me sick," he told the panel. "It's just such a jingoistic, macho display of violence and power. I saw a parade while biking to work this morning and I literally felt like vomiting.
"All these little children were lined up with little American flags. I couldn't help but feel we are just brainwashing them into thinking that violent conflict is somehow the answer to our problems as a nation.
"I mean besides defeating Nazism, ending the Holocaust, stopping genocide in Kosovo, protecting global trade from piracy, ending communism, ending slavery, securing our independence, killing Osama Bin Laden and distributing aid abroad after natural disasters, what have American armed forces ever done for this country?"
Bake for Freedom
Veterans Day was established by president Woodrow Wilson in 1919 to commemorate the end of the First World War. Initially known as Armistice Day, Congress changed the name in 1954 and broadened its scope to include honoring all veterans.
The holiday has never been controversial, and has thus far largely remained outside the bounds of partisan politics. Joe Scarborough felt compelled to defend this tradition this morning.
"I mean these people are heroes," he scolded. "These men and women go out there and risk their lives so that you and I can breathe freedom. They go to the ends of the Earth to fight our enemies while you're sleeping comfortably at home.
"The deployments puts strain on their personal lives, on their marriages, on their health ... And they do it all for you. All so you can sleep soundly at night. How can you be against a holiday that honors their sacrifices? I mean really."
"Joe, soldiers aren't heroes," Hayes retorted. "You want to know who the real heroes are? The real heroes are people like my friend Chaz. Chaz owns a vegan bakery in Williamsburg. Before he opened his small business there were only 11 other vegan bakeries in the area, and only 4 were 100 percent gluten free. But none were non-GMO.
"Chaz's bakery has finally brought non-GMO vegan baked goods to people who need them. He's bringing little morsels of happiness and light into people's lives. What soldier has ever done anything like that? You don't need bullets to make a difference."
This isn't the first time Hayes has refused to use to term "heroes" with regard to American armed forces personnel. In May of 2012 he told his audience that the term made him feel "uncomfortable." He was forced to apologize within days after conservative blogs picked up the story.
This time, however, it appears Hayes won't be backing down.
"I don't care what they do to me," he claims. "Fire me for all I care. I'm gonna keep speaking the truth."