Running like a coward
My new lord and master, Dick Cheney
Leaving the left
I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.
I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.
I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.
Because the only democracy is the vote. The Iraqi government is a joke, a cruel, ineffective joke closer to the Kerensky government than a democracy. Democracy is not a gift, it is earned. The Iraqis aren't even interested in defending it. Just staging the ground for the civil war.
My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.
Like many others who came of age politically in the 1960s, I became adept at not taking the measure of the left's mounting incoherence. To face it directly posed the danger that I would have to describe it accurately, first to myself and then to others. That could only give aid and comfort to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and all the other Usual Suspects the left so regularly employs to keep from seeing its own reflection in the mirror.
Another draft dodging hippie? Fuck him. Fuck him and everyone like him. He's never had a hard day in his life. I didn't know a single male adult of age to go to Vietnam that didn't, and this is well into my 30's.
I began my activist career championing the 1968 presidential candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, because both promised to end America's misadventure in Vietnam. I marched for peace and farm worker justice, lobbied for women's right to choose and environmental protections, signed up with George McGovern in 1972 and got elected as the youngest delegate ever to a Democratic convention.
And avoided all service in Vietnam. Yet, despite that, he feels the need to endorse this war. How many of his family members are serving in Iraq, Djobuti or Afghanistan? I would bet none. Not one member of his family is serving in combat. He didn't serve in Vietnam. Yet, now he's for war. Let him send his family to this war to support it. It is vile for someone who avoided combat when it was his turn to now suggest that others go and die. When he was opposing the Vietnam War, I can bet that he didn't give a damn about the grunts in Nam, or when they came back.
A turning point came at a dinner party on the day Ronald Reagan famously described the Soviet Union as the pre-eminent source of evil in the modern world. The general tenor of the evening was that Reagan's use of the word "evil" had moved the world closer to annihilation. There was a palpable sense that we might not make it to dessert.
When I casually offered that the surviving relatives of the more than 20 million people murdered on orders of Joseph Stalin might not find "evil'" too strong a word, the room took on a collective bemused smile of the sort you might expect if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport.
I've been a liberal all my life. There has never been a day I didn't think Soviet communism wasn't fucked and evil. I don't know where he found these idiots, but if that's the circle he ran in, he should be embarassed.
Stated simply: The force wielded by democracies in self-defense was declared morally equivalent to the nihilistic aggression perpetuated by Muslim fanatics.
Where was this? When was this? Among a few of his idiot friends?
All of this came back to me as I watched the left's anemic, smirking response to Iraq's election in January. Didn't many of these same people stand up in the sixties for self-rule for oppressed people and against fascism in any guise? Yes, and to their lasting credit. But many had since made clear that they had also changed their minds about the virtues of King's call for equal of opportunity.
Because it was a fucking fraud speeding the road to civil war. Electiing a shia theocracy is not something to be proud of. One so blinded by the need for revenge, they are unable to actually act like a government.
Wait, it gets better. When actor Bill Cosby called on black parents to explain to their kids why they are not likely to get into medical school speaking English like "Why you ain't" and "Where you is," Jesse Jackson countered that the time was not yet right to "level the playing field." Why not? Because "drunk people can't do that ... illiterate people can't do that."
So black people are now like illiterate drunks. It's nice to see his racism on display. Why not "level the playing field"? School districts. Are black school districts as well funded as whites? No? There goes your playing field.
When self-styled pragmatic feminist Camille Paglia mocked young coeds who believe "I should be able to get drunk at a fraternity party and go upstairs to a guy's room without anything happening,"
In short, I should do risky, stupid things and have no penalty attached to them. Sounds like a call for personal responsibility to me
He is also by most measures one of the most conservative senators. Brownback speaks openly about how his horror at the genocide in the Sudan is shaped by his Christian faith, as King did when he insisted on justice for "all of God's children."
But the fact that he is a tool of the Dominionists goes by the wayside.
Just another clown looking for a pay day. Fucking coward now wants to send other people's children to die for some vague idea that Islamic Theocracy is democracy. He didn't want to go to Vietnam, now he thinks other people's children should die in Iraq. He's a coward and a fool and sbould be mocked for that. Anyone who opposed the Vietnam War, much less refused to serve in the military, has no moral right to support this war of choice. He climbed on the backs of Vets who served this country while he went on with his career. They suffered, partly because of his actions, and he got away clean. I have nothing but utter contempt for this gutless hack.
He didn't leave anything. He's just gone in search of a payday.
posted by Steve @ 1:20:00 AM