Monday, September 20, 2004

The Loyal Oppostion
WE ARE LOSING THE WAR ON TERROR. In the name of security, we deprive our citizens of their constitutional rights. In the name of democracy, we enforce a hostile occupation. In the name of human rights, we brutalize countless prisoners. And day by day, our soldiers get shot down one by one in the futile hope of winning a war we never should have started
David Adesnik, not commenting on George Bush and The US, but rather Vladimir Putin, and his latest 'security measures' in Russia. It appears that the old KGB arapatchik has returned to his roots, and decided that Authority is the only way to deal with insecurity and violence.

I find it incredible that we have people confabulating an equality of behavior between GW Bush and Hitler. For example, we have former Weapons inspector Scott Ritter comparing Iraq with Poland in 1939. Never mind the implicit insult to the Polish derived by equating then President Moscicki & PM Slawoj-Skladkowski of the Second Polish Republic to the thugocracy of Saddam Hussein in Ritter's assertation.

One fo the recurring themes of this election cycle is that Bush is trying to rule in a 'Climate of Fear', and yet, these very same people prey on Americans fear of the despot in their attempt to unseat the current President by equating him with one of the most vile figures of the 20th century and declaring his supporters 'morons' or 'idiots'. Is this the new norm for rhetorical flourish? Instead of presenting something concrete we simply paint an image that invokes an emotional loathing of the target or opposition?

No wonder this election of so hate-filled, vile and unparalleled in its vitriol. Neither camp is 'talking', rather they are creating self-reinforcing memes of loathing to encapsulate the caricature of the opposition. Flip-Flopper vs. Genocidal maniac. Dithering Patrician Ninny Fussbudget vs. Megalomaniac Overlord of the Universe.

I long for a 'loyal opposition' which will actually challenge the current administration on policy. Federal Marriage Amendment? Bans on certain types of research driving scientific exploration overseas? What the hell sort of nonsense is this?

As Americans we must remain vigilant against anyone who would assume the role of a Putin. But the facts on the ground do not point to Bush being cast from that mold. It would be nice if someone in the opposition would debate reality as opposed to a straw man caricature of a monster.

"Those who would sacrifice their fundamental liberty for security deserve neither" -Benjamin Franklin - whose words are as true today as 200 years ago, but we can't address any concrete issues as long as the two camps are simply screaming at each other in invective.


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