Freedom Fry

Look at that freedom fry! A collection of political hotlinks and original articles.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Slice of — Bush's War on Fear

1:09 PM

Slice of Pumpkin Pie

Quote of the Day:

"I live in a democratic society. I have the right to speak my mind. I have the right to choose. Not obligation, not option. The right to choose. I have the right to choose my government, my religion, my partner, and whether I want children or not. I have that right. You may not agree with my choices, which is why you have the right to go make your own. Go make yours. Let me live with mine."
—Anonymous graffiti on Chicago bus.

What is this world that George W. Bush inhabits? What is this vision that he so persuasively communicates to at least half the country? Has he learned the art of feigned sincerity and instilled within it the ability to remind people of their worst fears—like a parent reminding his child that monsters live in the night, but not in the warm fuzzy light of daddy's embrace?

I don't understand this stoic support for the man. Actions speak louder than words, and many will say that his actions during the darkest period in American history spoke volumes. Perhaps. But time is an ever-flowing stream, and the era of Bush has passed, as the era of Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, have all passed. Things grow old, become obsolete. Hasn't the refrain from Bush, labeled, 'staying on message' become old and worn out? Or do people like to hear the perpetual refrain; does it soothe the solitary soul suddenly struck by the absurdity of existing in a bubble?

I believe GWB has a vision, but it is his vision and if subjected to the arguments of the many will be exposed as a singular vision for an individual, not a collective. His plan for America, from Supreme Court Judges, to Sex Education, to education and welfare reform bespeak a commitment to his idea of how things should be, undiluted by the possibility for change or review. Somehow, obstinacy has become revered as conviction. Being stubborn is now a trait despite the negative connotations of the word.

I do not think John F. Kerry is any less fallible. We do not know what the test of leadership will bring out in him. But I have a sense that his actions and his words are driven by a commitment to excellence and consideration. Perhaps my faith in that aspect of him is just as strange to a Bush supporter. But I still wonder if people understand that a vote made in fear, and out of fear, is not the exercise of a democratic society's right to choose. It's the coercion of the body politic through less visible means.

If you go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website [which I frequently have to] you see at the bottom the little safety 'rainbow'. For the last two years, it has not fallen from "elevated." I'm not sure how Bush can claim, then, that things are better, if there has been no change in standard. But I do know this: Rhesus monkeys left in  a room with a constant red light will exhibit increasingly aggressive behavior. The perpetual presence of danger will do the same to human beings.

I share all of this for one simple reason: We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and the perpetuation of scare tactics furthers the notion that the politics of America, from both ends of the political spectrum, have been kidnapped by a fear of "What if?". This has happened, not for any rational reason, but simply because a cringing public, seeking protection and consolation cannot think with the dignity and serenity expected and required of them. For as long as Bush propagates his vision of the world, you can expect at least half this country to live in fear, and the rest to live in shame.

Today's Links:

Nuclear material stolen from Iraq under the Occupation's watch? If they didn't have WMD's before, they have'em now!!

Another piece of vital war 'evidence' retracted.... Um, what's left?

Do you know whom your novelist is voting for?

And a scary article on Bush and Dred Scott. Don't know what that is? Learn now!!

thanks for indulging my verbosity.


Misha Cohen said...

Great article Ashir. (If we don't start posting comments who will?) Was it influenced by my article on fear below? Interesting if it wasn't, and extra relavent if it was.

1:35 PM  

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