Thursday, October 21, 2004

Opinion Potpourri

October 21, 2004

I got a letter from a regular reader who was pretty upset at last week's column. She said that it sounded like I was trying to defend Saddam Hussein, and the gist of Mr. Hargis' piece (to some degree also a response since he was given my column to read before publication) would seem to follow similar lines. I now find myself actually forced to state that my point was not that I think Saddam Hussein seems like a swell guy. My point was that Bush and the rest of the Republican machine cast him as a threat by distorting the truth presented to the American public.

This is the plight in which Bush's spin-doctors have placed the contemporary dissenter: agree with your idiot leader or agree with the murdering terrorists. Sounds like a Catch-22, but I'm living proof that there's a middle ground.

I don't know how many times I can say it: we were lied to. The Republicans have engaged in every scummy, underhanded trick in the book since they took control of the American government, not only fanning the flames of xenophobia in the wake of an extremist attack but also playing havoc with procedural rules to push their agenda (i.e. the Medicare bill). This administration has created a color-coded "alert system" to tell us how afraid to be on any given day!

We are being played like a violin, and I cannot understand how people miss it. I like to think that people are basically intelligent, and the susceptibility of the American populace to this blatant political maneuvering simply astounds me.

I'd also like to address the ridiculous assertion that electing Kerry will somehow make another terrorist attack more likely. There's already a point-by-point set of recommendations from the 9-11 Commission that both candidates have agreed should and will be implemented. Besides, the terrorism fervor has been stoked to such heights that, regardless of who wins the office, the next president will have no choice but to comply with the high security standards the public is demanding, even if he were some sort of maladjusted psychopath bent on terrorist rule.

My editors have chosen an unfortunate time to provide a foil for my libertarian rantings. I have only one column remaining with which to convince you that Bush is the worst thing to happen to America since Nixon, so I must limit my response to Mr. Hargis instead of giving him the rebuttal he so richly deserves. He does an excellent job of tracing the paranoid xenophobic buildup that led to a populace capable of being cowed so easily by a government trying to scare them, but he says little other than that he, too, has been cowed.

Indeed, the ideological threat of the "commies" is quite akin to that of "terrorists" with one important strategic difference: terrorists have no territory to defend, no establishment to protect, no material future that we can attack. Their mission is solely destructive, their territory nonexistent, and as such they make much better bogeymen.

On a side note, the fact that he can say Saddam did anything with "no accountability" strikes me as wildly ironic, and I'm sure Saddam, in whatever U.S.-controlled sleep-deprivation chamber he's being kept, would find it even more so.

People don't like the Ridiculous Rush segment, so you can all start listening to him yourself if you need to keep tabs on just how dumb he is. This is what happens when you mail me at to tell me what you think. And what the hell are "cherry pickers of the truth?"


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