edited: Saturday, March 18, 2006
By Francis DiPietro
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2006
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An editorial opinion and general overview of how politicians can quickly create a quagmire at the expense of the people.
The politics of common decency has long floated as an abstract concept, often suspended in the minds of those campaigning for office yet rarely found in individuals who have attained prominent posts. It may hold true that one mayor or one congressman or one senator can be likened to the personification of one voter, with a singular voice which must either join in harmony with the majority or risk being drowned out by it. A deeper truth to this scenario is the inherent corruption of the system by which laws and policies are formed, so that whatever promises and gains a candidate makes on the campaign trail are aborted by the realities of the longstanding, unspoken obligations of the office which they have come to occupy.
In 1966, following a trip to southeast Asia, Hubert Humphrey (38th vice president of the United States) changed the political stance he held on the Vietnam War from one of opposition to one of support for the administration's involvement. Many agree that Humphrey's change of mind most likely cost him the presidency in 1968, when Richard M. Nixon enjoyed a narrow margin of victory. In 1972 Humphrey unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president, and he died six years later in Waverly, Minnesota with the memories of his 1966 Vietnam change of heart.
In politics, contradicting yourself is bad enough, but when you favor the unpopular side in your own contradiction of yourself, you are lighting the candles for the Hara-Kiri ritual. It also seems to be a rather Democratic trait, as Republicans will more often repeat a lie at any cost or staunchly deny that there is blood on their hands. Both paths have their pitfalls, but the former is more immediately apparent than the latter.
Being honest can often seem like more of a dream than a policy. And when it comes to the two-term administration of George Bush, honesty is a thing which he rarely affords even unto himself. After all, it's easier to lie to the people if you've convinced yourself that you speak the truth. It has been noted by more than one prominent journalist that Bush tends to completely "buy the lie, own it, sleep with it, make love to it, then take it out for breakfast." Like Ronald Reagan before him, who flatly denied his administration was trading arms for hostages, George Bush is due for a Reaganesque apology when the evidence regarding his administration's deception of the people eventually becomes insurmountable.
Tune in for that one, kiddies.
It will be an even more telling sign of the arrogance of this administration if that apology does not come at all, or is done in a deflective, substandard way. America was warned decades ago by President Dwight Eisenhower: "Beware of the military-industrial complex." Our justification for "feeding" this complex has driven us to our current stance on world policy. We can't get back the respect we've lost, but we can begin to change the rather unfavorable image we've garnered. Even countries who are our allies know that something is wrong with American foreign policy, and that something wears a cowboy hat and practices cowboy hat diplomacy.
"Brokeback Politics" may quickly become a by-word among analysts. Just like the gay cowboys in the film felt about each other, the Bush administration seems irked yet resigned to the fact that it just can't quit Iraq, despite the vast majority of that country's citizenry wanting us out. Can you imagine how our own citizens would react if another country adopted that stance with us? Moreover, are the components of our government representative of common sense and common decency?
Nice article, Francis. I've asked this question many times ~~ Can you imagine how our own citizens would react if another country adopted that stance with us? ~~ Seems many people won't even stop and consider things from the other side. I believe it's because we keep hearing "must be fought there or here" (heard it again this week during the commitee hearing for supplemental budget $ for Iraq and Afghanistan).
I don't think I've seen you before - nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your work.
<A HREF="http://www.gather.com/my.jsp?memberId=16984">Sandy Knauer</A>, Mar 13, 2006
Francis, great article. This is what I have discusses with my fiance many times. He served in Iraq, and was upset by their treatment over there, however, like I told him, how would we feel if someone invaded our country and did the same to us. We would fight. I am not saying that they should be harming our military personnel, they are just in a bad spot right now, and hopefully, in November, we might have a shot at stopping the insanity.
<A HREF="http://www.gather.com/my.jsp?memberId=22814">Jonathan Schussler</A>, Mar 13, 2006
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|Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
|Thank you for this excellent article.|
|Reviewed by Francis DiPietro
To address your statement (which is appreciated and respected), I must first say that I am not attempting to "analyze truth," for our daily lives are a thousand times divorced from absolute truth. My opinion constitutes no official analysis of anybody--not even myself--and I respect those whose convictions are strong enough to allow them to abrade any part of the system under which minds and individual thought are dulled.
|Reviewed by Jennifer Butler
|What do gay actors have to do with real cowboys and Iraq? If you're going to analyze the truth, reconsider who is creating the picture.|