Saturday, November 25, 2006

Put Into Practice

Bringing freedom to the people of Iraq- a progressive ideal. Liberation is literally a *liberal* concept.

Using Iraq's oil to rebuild the country- a socialistic enterprise by its very definition.

Establishing a secular democracy in the Middle East- another progressive ideal. One seen by many as anti-religious.

Right-wing supporters of Bush and his war in Iraq use these progressive catch-phrases all the time, because they know these appeal to most Americans and because these hide the real reasons we have sent our young military service people there, which likely would not get the support of many Americans.

This is a war for oil and an attempt by Bush to play out his psychological turmoil on a global scale.

American families will not send their young off to die in the sands of Araby just so oil executives can in turn sell them $3.85-per-gallon gasoline.

But they will send them off to fight for progressive ideals like freedom and democracy. Hence the rightwing rhetorical sleight-of-hand.

It's conservative bait-and-switch. Unfortunately they have honed this technique over decades and have built a media presence that churns this rhetoric out by millions of print and broadcast words daily, so many American citizens are taken in by it.

This is a riff on ideas gleaned from reading George Lakoff.

I think that many of us on the political left correctly espress concern about the way the political right wing has co-opted many aspects of what passes for political debate in this country. Fox News and right-wing radio come to mind. It took many decades for the conservative movement to construct the media infrastructure and develop consistent messaging systems to attain dominance in political discourse.

It will be much easier for the left to re-enter media debate than it was for the right to establish their heavy presence there, because we on the left will not have to lie, which is another of Lakoff's ideas.

This is worth sharing around.

(The above was cross-posted and re-edited under another alias from an obscure small-town middle-America newspaper-based message board.)

1 comment:

Eli Blake said...

Here is another one: Self-determination.

We supported it in the former Soviet Union, as the leaders of that multinational state were no longer capable of holding together 'captive nations' (to borrow a Reagan era description.) We supported it in the former Yugoslavia, as first President George H.W. Bush and then President Clinton sided with the independence minded nationalists as the country came apart slice by slice, first Slovenia, then Croatia, then Bosnia-Herzegovina, then Macedonia and then Kosovo.

Iraq is an artificial creation consisting of three seperate nations. Most people realize that now.

Once our 'king' realizes that all of his horses and all of his men can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again and begins working towards smoothing the transition to three states, then we will see real progress in Iraq. Otherwise, we are in the shoes of Mikhail Gorbachevn or Slobodan Milosevic, trying to hold back the tide of history.