Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Well for the tiny minority of thinkers in this country that was true. But for the most part I think he won because...well look at him compared to Bush Senior or Dole. He just had the right stuff.
It is stupid to think that if only the American people really knew about Bush they would vote for somebody else. Guess what, the people did know about Bush, the sucky war, the problematic non-logic of this dumbass, but they voted for him anyway.
Progressives, me included better, remember that they live in the most conservative of all western democracies. We have 'always" been that way. In no small part that is because our democratic roots go to rural America. We arn't rural anymore, but our country was founded as an agrarian society.
Our peasentry was pretty much used to total freedom from the get-go.
Unlike European democracies that came out of butting heads with Monarchs that actually lived in the country trying for democracy; we had few restrictions. In Europe things didn't work out too well until after WWII.
We had a 150 year head start. European democracy is urban based and so is more inclusive of different peoples and ideas. This was not, and is not, a strong point in American democracy.
Jefferson was very worried about how America would end up when it too was more urban than rural. He was not sure that American style democracy would work in such an environment. And he was the quintessential rural democrat.
His version, that is to say our version of democracy, is still one of "live and let live..oh yes and don't bother me." On the surface this sounds the same as in Europe. The main difference, I think, is that American democracy, with few exceptions, has an inbread disdain for "governmental fiddling".
What will bring down the Bush types is their fiddling. Americans don't like Big Government. That is why it is such a powerful election phrase. That is actually one thing both the left and right can agree on.
It is paradoxical that while progressives strive for limited government intrusion in our lives, they also strive for big government solutions to social problems. It is also paradoxical that conservatives loath big government solutions while allowing increased governmental intrusion.
Jefferson was soooo right. When most people were releatively self sufficient, democracy worked well. However we have constructed a society like a gigantic pyramid scheme. Each one of us is dependent on the other.
This should be a good thing. But I think it presents a danger in that people are dragged kicking and screaming along while governmental solutions are applied with broad strokes. In so doing, even if the solution is come to through dmeocratic means, vast portions of the country are effected by governing decisions much the same way peasents are effected by edicts from kings. So they feel disaffected. And who gets the vote of the disaffected?
Guys like FDR, Clinton, and...gulp...Bush. Most Americans, right, left, or inbetween, feel diseaffected pretty much all of the time. "Washington" is always going to be viewed as a tyrant but many people. We need it's meddling and hate it's meddling. I am not sure how all this is going to work out.
I do think that populism and pragmatism rules as far as winning elections.
Tell them what they want to hear and let philosphers argue abut the truth.
Monday, November 15, 2004
This is how the resignation process works for real....
The people resigning are basically being fired. Oh they could chose to "stay on" but the rule is, and has always been, that a new term is a great way to undramatically fire all the people you don't get along with. Presidents have used this in the Past. It is also used to remove people who you may wish to use latter for another purpose.
The most telling aspect of the resignations thus far is that has not included any of the Bush circle of importance. The people getting to leave all, either are not in his inner circle, or do not agree whole hartedly with his vision...what ever that happens to be.
On the Warfront: Hurray! Falluja is a gigantic dangerous mess! We are now "in control" of the city. 38 more soldiers had to get wasted and whole city blocks got to be pulverised, but hey we are on the road to democracy. The Suni faction of the interim government has pulled out of the government in protest. But hey were are working toward a democratic state...er...I guess.
The good news is that Oregon has only got to spend 2.1 billion on the war in Iraq. Compare that to the suckers in Washington State who have spent 14 billion, or California who has got to spend 22 billion. Man-o-man I am glad that we are all awash in sooooooo much cash we can spend that kinda doe in Iraq. When I see the new Boring Middle School built quite recently in 1947, I know that we have money to burn.
Here is some interesting moral values info:
State with the highest divorce rate: Texas State with the lowest divorce rate: Massachussetts The top ten states with the best healthcare are all blue states The bottom ten states with the worst healthcare are all red states The top ten states to get a good education are all blue states The bottom ten....yup uncle George's stomping...er..I mean swaggering ground.
So for family values you pretty much want to live in a state that voted for Kerry. Like Oregon!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
10 more GI's get to come home in boxes. 10 more families in the US get to not have fathers, sons, brothers, etc. anymore. Still more get to come home with one less arm or leg. Lots of Iraqi's get to be blown up by JDAMs and cut in half with machine gun fire. Our side says it's ready for a fight.
There side says the same. Inbetween little kids and old women get slaughtered. Buildings burn, bombs explode, people on fire scream out their last few seconds of life. Nursing mothers get crushed to death with their suckling babes when their homes collapse. Soldiers listen to heavy metal rock while they let loose with their 50's. Jihadi's chant "God is great" as they fire their AK's off down the road, killing their own neighbors while trying to kill our guys. Massive doeses of morphine are given to men about to die after being disembowled by an exploding RPG. And so on and so on and so on.
Now I am not the swiftest man alive. But where, in all this, is morality?
Oh yes, I forgot, this is a war. And war is "all hell" There is no morality in war. There is no goodness in war. There is no ethics in war. There is nothing Godly in war. There is no good war. There is only tragedy. War is nothing but murder brought to an epic scale. And Iraq is such a tiny little war.
Imagine all the blood from all the wounds at the little creek of Antietam in Maryland, where, on September 17th 1862, 23,000 men were killed in a single day. Or Cold Harbor in 1864 where 5,000 men died in 20 minutes. For that matter Grants push south from May 14th 1864 to September of that same year claimed 150,000 union casulties.
We are less able to stomach the horror that is war. This is a good thing. It is amazing how much slaughter we have born.