Just Above Sunset Archives
November 16, 2003 Opinion
On getting beyond self-righteous hate and holier-than-thou posturing...
On Wednesday the 12th you would have found this in the New York Times.
Hold the Vitriol
Nicholas D. Kristof
[ ...if you click the link here you need to register with the Times. ]
It seems this Kristof fellow wrote the item on how polarized we have become. He argues the Bush haters - the angry liberals - are as bad if not worse than those who attacked Bill Clinton for all those years. I'm not sure I agree with Kristof that those who think Bush is a dangerous fool are becoming "so rabid that Ann Coulter will seem normal."
Perhaps so. I guess we shouldn't pick on the Bush guy. He's doing his best. What more can you ask? (I have some answers to that.)
But a key Kristof excerpt is this argument below - that the nation is in a the middle of a new "Great Awakening." We are so religious and pious a nation now that the secular Democrats don't have a chance of getting elected to anything - or more precisely don't have a prayer. They persist in believing that "evolution" business is true, for example.
Eric Alterman in his MSNBC column "Altercation" replied to the claim of "hatred," arguing that those of us dissatisfied with Bush are not at all like those who worked so hard, year after year, to prove Bill and Hillary Clinton were guilty of murder (Vince Foster) and drug running and rape and all the rest.
He points out
1.) Bush haters talk about policy not personality.
2.) Bush haters support the country and its soldiers in wars they believe to be misguided
3. ) Bush haters do not accuse the president of drug-running and murder ... and he has six more points.
The last of his thirteen points on the Clinton haters is this: "Clinton-haters were addressing themselves to a president who was honestly elected, and by the way, boasted a 68 percent approval rating on the day he was impeached."
There is a lot of talk in the air as to who hates whom, and much talk about religion. (Say, if we're going to have a theocracy at some point soon, do we get to burn witches again? Far out!)
Well, all the talk of hate and religion is troubling. But then I came across something that was way beyond that. The claim that the whole business with this holier-than-thou righteous remaking of the middle east is irrelevant, passť - it's just so... last year.
Okay, I like to stay ahead of the curve, but this fellow I came across is way ahead any curve on the horizon. He says the "American Empire" is over - done - decaying before our eyes. And he seems to have this new book to be published next year about the upcoming new age of international community or whatever. Weird. And I was under the impression we were just getting started in this business of changing the world!
Well, he'll eat his words when we oust the government of Hassan in Syria and occupy that country - and when next we overthrow the government of Iran and occupy that country - then overthrow the government of North Korean and kill Kim and occupy that country - then oust Hugo Chavez and his crew in Venezuela and occupy that country - then get rid of Castro and send all the Republican campaign donors in Miami down to occupy that country. Then there's that new lefty labor guy, Lulu as he's called, running Brazil, and we need to replace him. This fellow here doesn't get it.
Or maybe he does. It is an odd view. Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfowitz would just laugh at this. "Although no one in Washington has noticed it yet..." No kidding. "The macho declaration of pre-emption is already passť...."
Really? Well, here's the problem. The reelection of Bush depends upon just that.
There's a conflict here. Should be an interesting campaign.
And here's the "outside the box" fellow:
Criticizing the U.S. empire is not enough
The International Herald Tribune Thursday, November 13, 2003
The writer is a professor at George Washington University. His book From Empire to Community will be published next year.
So what is this fellow suggesting? Click on the link, or wait for his book next year. That the book's title is From Empire to Community suggests something. And that "something" is not likely to impress our current leaders.
Some of us believe we live in a community. Others point out "community" has the same root as communism, and for them independence and self-reliance is all. Which view will prevail?