Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Political Will for Peace

It has been a long time since there was widespread political will in the United States for the things that many liberals hold dear - equality, diplomacy, fiscal responsibility, etc. For those of you who are into facts and documentation, look no further than the elections that have been held recently in this country at all levels, as well as the waffling that has been done by Democratic candidates and politicians.

The Democrats were trounced in the 2002 and 2004 elections because they refused to take an unabashed position on matters of war, specifically the War on Terror™, which the Republicans have repeatedly conflated to include Iraq no matter how much the lefty community might disagree. Sure there were other factors on the domestic front, but those two elections were more dependent upon foreign policy in my opinion.

George Bush is not a leader. He never has been. A leader is someone who will take into consideration the diversity of opinions that exist among the people he or she leads. That has never been the modus operandi of this particular government. He surrounds himself by advisors and audiences that agree with his positions, allowing him to shore up the self-sufficiency he needs to keep doing what he chooses. That is not leadership, it's dictatorship.

Bush's air of confidence is unnerving to those of us citizens who abhor his actions and worldview. But what are we supposed to do when leaders who are supposedly on our side flinch with timidity and open themselves up for ridicule and descriptions of weakness? Kerry got labeled a flip-flopper because he acted like one. I grew to like Senator Kerry, still do, but that is because I was able to do more indepth research on the differences between his positions and George Bush's maniacal reign. I have to say, there were fewer differences on policy than I would like, especially as it regards war and the U.S.'s involvement in the world.

For the uninformed, in my opinion lazy, voter; they had a choice between a steely resolved person (Bush) verses another candidate who spent more time talking through an answer than actually answering it with conviction (Kerry). That's why we are dealing with a second term presidency at this moment.

And throughout all of that fluff, where were the steely resolved candidates for peace? I'll tell you where they were, they had been banished to the radical and marginalized minority of the left by our own party, let alone the electorate. People like Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley-Braun and Al Sharpton who no matter how much their positions resonated with a liberal/diplomatic worldview during the Democratic primary debates, they were never seen as viable candidates. Why? Lack of political will and a vile mixture of sexism and racism thrown in for good measure. Those exist in bi- and non-partisan forms.

So here we are today, watching as the situation in the Middle East explodes in the metaphorical and physical sense of the word. Liberal Catnip has been all over this story, I encourage you to start at the top and continue reading as she documents the media response to the flagrant warmongering by Israel as well as the continually abhorrent actions of the Bush Administration.

Hypocrisy and continued support for the forces of war.

The only path that will lead us down is a guarantee of more death and instability. The wheels are already loose on the global wagon and I fear we are coming to a point where they are going to start flying off and true chaos will emerge. A very dark vision to have, but also one that squares with what I see on the t.v. screen, in the newspapers and on NPR.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that society is going to have to hit rock bottom before we, all or a majority of us, come to realize that there is a cancer in the U.S. that infects the way we interact globally. Boston Joe, a diarist at BooMan Tribune, speaks for me on this when he responds to a friend's question whether he has forgotten what happened on September 11, 2001.
But to begin to fight our way back to that path of peace and justice, I think we individually may have to do exceptional things. We may have to risk friendships in order to tell the truth as we see it. To beat back what is a nationalistic furor. There are reasons why we lost people on 9/11. And from my own observation of the attitudes of my fellow Americans, I do not believe that most have even begun to examine those reasons in any depth.


We are being easily led. In an ongoing war. And perhaps into new wars. And to continuing occupations. And to covert actions to secure our rights to BigMacs and SUVs. I submit to you that it is our own nationalism and militarism that is leading us to a day when our children may well see the mushroom clouds of this administration's imagination.

No. I have not forgotten.

linkage - a fantastic and hard-hitting piece

As I've been saying recently, the status quo is not something I support. We need a major paradigm shift to occur in order to see a stable situation based on diplomacy and the pursuit of the common good. Since it is not being led by the political realm, look for my involvement to be more with grassroots groups and coalitions who are working to grow an electorate that views human rights and peace to be a more acceptable status quo for the future.

I am not ashamed of my liberal views. It is time where none of us who hold them should be. The propaganda will no longer work among a populace who holds those ideals in the deepest part of their psyche. Plant the seeds now and who knows, perhaps we'll see some blooms in the coming years that are worthy of remembrance. Blooms that are not fertilized by the blood of others.

Crossposted at Human Beams

No comments: