Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Screw Conservatives

Another crowd pleasing post title, I'm sure. But this is a continuation of a post on Monday in which I speculated it would be nice if we treated candidates, like the war-mongering John McCain who wants to invade Iraq, with more charity. There's a reason why we won't actually do it, and Glenn Greenwald brings it up in his latest post.
When the Right inserts personality-based trash into our political discourse -- and when they build up their leaders based on mythological themes of heroic, morally upstanding character imagery -- it isn't an "ad hominem" attack to highlight the deceit that lies at the heart of those claims, to document the actual character of those individuals. It's a necessary response for debunking the manipulative, substance-free character themes that are outcome-determinative in our elections, for neutralizing the twisted attacks that predominate.

Put another way, where someone advocates "Principle X," one can either (a) contest the validity of Principle X or (b) insist that Principle X be applied equally to its advocate. Opting for (b) does not preclude (a), nor does it make one hypocritical to insist upon equal application of a principle to which one objects. To the contrary, method (b) is a means of advancing (a); that is, one way to demonstrate the depravity of a principle it to apply the principle to its advocates.

Here, "Principle X" = the Right's notion that our elections should be decided based on petty personality-based themes -- euphemistically known as, justified and glorified as, "character issues." Decrying that principle while simultaneously subjecting the Right to it is not "hypocritical" or "contradictory" but, instead, is a means -- the only means -- for undermining it.
He's not wrong.

And more to the point, I firmly believe that what McCain wants to do is wrong, both morally and practically. He clearly desires to continue the war in Iraq until we achieve some sort of transformative victory and he clearly desires to invade Iran. He might not be able to, but he wants to. And he might get to. And both of those desires will weaken our already struggling country and will cause untold misery to our own troops and the people of Iraq and Iran (and probably elsewhere). So it's a moral imperative to do what we can to keep McCain out of the White House.

So while I oppose violence or illegal activities, and favor democracy, I'm pretty ok with a little name calling and pointing out McCain's weaknesses.

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