Leave it to me to start a new blog just as a lot of family issues command my attention, preventing me from updating for a week. Oh, well, timing was never my long suite. On the other hand, the long chats with family and church members (who run the entire political spectrum from Marx all the way to Engels) have provided plenty of food for thought. The first course was led by noticing a new bumper sticker in the church parking lot “Think, it irritates conservatives”, and hearing someone say a near exact repeat of a comment posted a couple weeks back on Chaliceblog- that conservatives may be capable of memorizing facts, but were incapable of rational thought. Now, this cannot be argued, because those who say it will not listen- so I thought instead I would examine the rationality of some liberal thoughts.
I thought I’d start with the issue that occasioned the comment above, one that is near and dear to the liberal heart: that George Bush lied about the evidence and the reasons for going to war with Iraq. The accusation is not that he was wrong, or misguided, but that he knowingly and deliberately manufactured the evidence. The chairman of the Democratic party has said this as often as Rev Sinkford has said “On behalf of the more than 1,000 congregations...”. Senator Kennedy said that the president went to war for partisan political advantage; Vice President Gore agreed, saying in a speech “He betrayed this country! He played on our fears!” So let’s look into the rationality of this belief.
To begin with, any statement carries with it many underlying assumptions. If you say “I accept Jesus as my savior”, you have also said that there is a God, that Jesus is divine, that humans have souls, that those souls are in need of saving, etc. So what underlying assumptions come with the statement “Bush lied; people died”?
Taking the least of them first, one must assume that Mr. Bush has been living a lie most of his adult life, and that his evangelical faith is merely a pose to win votes- after all, his church does not condone treason and mass murder. Fair enough, we know all Republicans are evil, so that isn’t much of a stretch. Of course, we must also assume that Laura Bush is living a lie, too; were she really a fundamental Christian, she’d not have stayed with such a man. Again, fair enough; any good Democrat could look at the last two first ladies and see that if one of them would be willing to endure abuse and gross immorality to remain close to power, it would have to be Laura.
From there, it gets more problematical. We’d have to assume that Colin Powell was either complicit in the conspiracy, or so stupid he could easily be misled by President Bush. We’ll assume that he resigned because he found out, and didn’t have the moral courage to denounce Bush. Then there’s the CIA- they couldn’t be fooled by Bush because they were the ones with the information in the first place, so we’ll assume they were mesmerized by Bush’s intense personal charm, and so were willing to throw away their careers and sacred honor to assist in the fabrication. We’ll assume the same thing with Tony Blair, and that MI 5 was mesmerized in turn by Tony. The joint chiefs of staff must have been caught in the spell of Bush’s charms as well, to be willing to go to war without evidence. The days when the military would blindly obey a presidential order without checking it out themselves went out with Nuremberg and My Lai; the academies have required ethics courses and no longer accept “Ve vere chust followink orders”.
I guess the liberals were right. If “Bush lied; people died” is rational, I’m incapable of rational thought.