23. July 2004 · Comments Off on Mourning in America · Categories: Politics

The one good thing that has come out of this week’s hysterical woman story is that it’s made me think about “single-issue voters” and the seeming paradox they represent.

The story, and the response to it from the (forgive the pun) reactionary portion of the blogodome, is telling. Most of the blog responses to the story from the conservative wing or the “single-issue voters” was one of fear. “Could this be a dry run?”, “This is why we need to profile all Arab males!”, “The security doesn’t work, it’s up to us!” were all common responses to the story, which is odd because most of them base their support of the current Administration on the very fact that it has done a lot to protect us from future terrorist attacks. If you believe that this Administration is our last, best hope for Victory, then why do you carry-on as if nothing has changed or improved in the past three years? How do you rationalize the paradox? Most of the responses to the panicked woman story were indictments against the current Administration on the very issue that they say represents their over-riding decision to support the Administration. It doesn’t add up.

If I were a challenger to any incumbent in this election, my main question would be, “Are you safer now than you were 3 years ago?” Let’s go to the handy stand-by: The WWII Analogy. Three years into our entry into WWII, the entire nation had been converted to a wartime footing, the Army had ballooned to Olympian proportions and had subsequently conquered North Africa and Italy. The liberation of France was nearly complete and most were hoping that the war would be over by Christmas. The Marines had been island-hopping in the Pacific and steadily grinding toward Honshu island. Victory in Europe was less than a year away. Victory in Japan would come a couple of months after that.

The main point is that we were winning, we knew we were winning, and we knew the end was in sight. There was no question of another Pearl Harbor happening, and the Wolfpacks in the North Atlantic had been all but eliminated. Americans were confident and secure in their power.

Three years into this current war, we’ve invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. We’ve created a new Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. We created a “Transportation Security Administration”. The nation and the government, however, are still on a peacetime footing. No sacrifice has been asked of the general populace. People are apparently still scared to fly and have no faith in the security apparatus meant to protect them. A sizeable portion of the public honestly believes that we’re not at war. Three years into this thing and we’re about as screwed-up a nation as we can be. If you want someone to blame for the state of things, then each of you needs to take a long, hard look into the mirror.

Most of you conservatives say we’re at war, yet you’d hardly know it from your actions. You engage in the same stupid partisan bickering and arcane gamesmanship as in peacetime. You say this Adminstration is strong against terrorism, yet your very actions and words betray your confidence in it. You support it because it uses strong words and invaded Iraq. When you eliminate all of your paradoxes about this Administration, that’s all you have left: you support this Adminstration because it talks tough and it invaded Iraq. Are you safer now than you were 3 years ago? You wouldn’t know it by listening to you.

Most of you liberals say we’re at war, but your war is against the President. You’re more concerned about defeating Bush than you are about defeating the enemy. To you, Bush is the enemy. Just like your conservative brethren, you’re more interested in political showmanship than doing anything to seriously help win this war. You oppose the President because he uses strong words and he invaded Iraq. Unlike the conservatives, you think that the security apparatus put in place after 9-11 does it’s job too well and does it against the wrong people. Are you safer now than you were 3 years ago? Obviously not. You think we’re on the verge of the Third Reich.

Do you want to know why I’m an independent? It’s because you conservatives and liberals are a stupid and silly people. You bicker and posture as if we have all the time in the world to defeat international terrorism. You say we’re at war and things need to be done right now when it’s politically convenient for you to do so, but you carry-on as if we’re still at peace. We have Americans dying overseas while they’re obstensibly trying to protect you, but all you can do is paint them as either untouchable heroes or pathetic victims. You can’t seriously debate the course of this war because for you, this isn’t a war against international terrorism, this is a war about personalities, specifically one personality: George W. Bush. For you, this isn’t a real war with real consequences, this is just another phoney war of opinion. You aren’t conservatives and liberals, you’re Phobos and Deimos: Fear and Panic. One of you uses the fear of external threats to win elections, the other tries to frighten us with internal threats. You both serve the same Master and that is why your supposed differences are as illusory as the fears you try to frighten us with. You’re more concerned with winning the next election than you are the real war. It’s a farce. This would make for a great comedy if it wasn’t so fucking tragic.

If there’s another major terrorist attack on American soil and thousands more people die, remember who to blame on that day. The silly fools on both the left and right, after the proper period of mourning, will go back to their old props. The conservatives will blame the media and those dastardly liberals, while the liberals will blame the evil neocons and the President (if he’s still a Republican at the time). For them, and for us, the real blame will lay with that person staring back from the mirror. If we lose, it’s because we are all to blame: you, me, everyone. What did you do to prevent another attack? Who did you support in the government? Whose feet did you hold to the fire to ensure Victory? Who did you toss out of office or vote in? Why did you go about your business, thinking someone else would take care of everything? Why were you more concerned with winning an election than preventing another attack? How come you were more concerned about scoring minor political points than scoring major, meaningful victories against international terrorism? Why did you choose to become so caught-up in personalities rather than results? Why did more people have to die because you chose to continue with peacetime foolishness rather than wartime seriousness?

Am I safer now than I was 3 years ago? No. And I doubt I will be three years hence. I blame every single one of you reading this, but more importantly, I blame myself. We all share equal blame for the state of things today. September 11th was a freebie. You can reasonably say you didn’t see it coming, and those that said we were to blame for it were rightly chastised, but the next attack will be our fault. We have no excuses.

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