As I was watching the latest atrocity from the Deciderator, it occurred to me that there was SOMEthing larger going on. Something that I can write about without constantly lapsing into profanity. I might also note, as an aside, that watching that most recent press gaggle where Dana Perino was all but told no one in the room believed a word she was saying reminded me what a real press corps looks like. We'll probably get a robust, inquisitive, aggressive press on January 21, 2009, but not earlier.
Part of that could be because the Bush administration's blatant attempts to keep all the reins of power in this country begin more and more to look like the ruling military government in Myanmar's attempt to suppress dissent. Hell, the man even has his own private group of brownshirts ready to go in the wings. So I can certainly see why the press might feel they have to keep their pieholes shut until the Democrats are in the White House. Still, somewhat encouraging to see they are slowly regaining the courage of their convictions.
Which leads me to today's topic: why is it that so many of us lack the courage of our convictions? Bush says that Democracy is "terror's antidote" at least as long as we don't, you know, practice it here. Democracy is this terribly wonderful form of government that everyone aspires to and whose advance is mandated by the Almighty. And how do we HAVE to protect this vast, unstoppable JUGGERNAUT of a movement? Why, by abandoning all its precepts simply because a few people with a serious weed up their ass about us are hiding out in the Pakistani hinterlands.
Yes, Democracy is so precious that we have no choice but to abandon it faster than a porn starlet getting out of her clothes in order to protect it. Jesus H Christ. Do people even LISTEN to themselves? I mean, how can you get from here to there, conceptually, without your head actually bulging from the cognitive dissonance? Republicans have always sorta had a majority share in this idiocy, possibly one of the reasons I never really respected self-identified Republicans that much.
Don't get me wrong, liberals and progressives have their convictionless moments as well, and I sure you can think of a few, but you know what? I'm not gonna list them here and create some sort of "pox on both their houses" false equivalency when Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular, clearly display the lion's share of this behavior, and certainly the two most important and significant examples of it.
Tossing out everything but the "pretty packaging" of Democracy because they're all scared is the first. Damn near bankrupting the country in the name of security from Communism is the other.
Let's get down to brass tacks. Either capitalism is the best way of maximizing growth and opportunity and thus will outpace any competing economic systems, OR communism was so powerful that we needed HUGE arsenals of very expensive nuclear weapons delivery and defense systems because they were going to bury us. You can NOT have it both ways.
The same folks talking up capitalism's advantages seemed AWFULLY concerned about communism. Could it be that deep down, they knew they were screwing over the proletariat and if the rubes ever figured out their place in the system (the marks) there'd be hell to pay? I know there are some of you out there nodding. I would gently suggest not.
What they were, and are, is frightened. Pitifully, pants-wettingly, paralytically FRIGHTENED. It's not that they don't have these convictions, it's that they don't have courage. They are fundamentally convinced that some daddy-figure must bail them out. It's why conservatives are fanatically convinced Reagan won the Cold War. To believe otherwise, to believe that Reagan simply had the great good fortune to be President at about the time Levi's Blue Jeans were mopping up the last dregs of communism would have meant that NO ONE WAS PROTECTING THEM. Oh, the horror.
They even elect cowards, and call them resolute. Here's a little hint guys...Bush is a coward. His behavior on 9/11 should have shown you that. Or maybe you should have noticed that he has all the hallmarks of the bully/coward: obsessed with loyalty, peeved when questioned, punitive when crossed, derisive of subordinates, and unwilling to admit mistakes (because to admit them would break the ENTIRE facade of power). No matter how you slice it, we will stay in Iraq until he's gone for one simple reason: he's scared of being seen as a loser. For pities sake, how many president's have never spoken to a SINGLE hostile audience? He's a coward, and we're all stuck in his pathology, a pathology he shares with most Conservatives.
I guess in the end, they think, "Better to give freedom up than admit that I was ALWAYS in danger."
They next time you hear someone say, "I don't have anything to hide so why should I worry," just substitute, "I'm a small minded, petty coward," in your head. The key is not to let them have power. The only bumper sticker I've been tempted to put on a car read, "Frightened People Do Stupid Things."