We Have Frostbite From All The Polarization
Earlier this week I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yammer on about the war in Iraq and those that want our troops out of that country. He calls the now 70% or so of us that are against continuing the occupation “the Left” and of course paints us as “America haters.” It must be nice to be Rush Limbaugh (and President Bush) and have the world easily divided into black and white so no thought is required. While I’m happy that Limbaugh thinks the Left in this country is so vast in numbers, his distortions of our motives are simplistic and dangerous.
Rush went on to explain to his audience that the Left is against any use of military force that furthers our national agenda. He claims that we are only for using our military in humanitarian efforts, but not in protecting our national interest. Of course he didn’t discuss the military action in Afghanistan that had nearly unanimous support and goes so far as to say that if the United States had any strategic interest in Darfur (for example if there was oil there), the Left would not be calling for US involvement to help stop the genocide currently taking place. The problem with this kind of rhetoric (besides the fact that it’s completely made up) is that his audience believes him and it only stokes the fires of their hatred of the Left (and who are the Left but 70% of their fellow Americans at this point). His listeners happily call themselves “ditto heads” more than suggesting that they will blindly follow Rush’s lead and believe any crap he shovels out. It has been difficult to listen to right wing radio, not because I disagree with most of what is being said, but because the format and presentation leave no room for thought, let alone discussion.
Polarization of the population is good for the Right, but bad for this country. This president has steered us into dangerous waters and it will take serious thought and reasoned action to get us out of this mess. We no longer have the luxury of simplistic notions of good and evil, black and white, and we need to pull together in order to successfully navigate this world of grey. Yes, we have a strategic interest in a stable Middle East as well as a national interest in energy independence, both of which have been damaged under the “guidance” of this president. The Bush administration has single handedly destabilized the region while simultaneously hindering any progress toward energy independence. Only in the bizzarro black and white world of Rush Limbaugh’s ditto heads can this be laid at the feel of “the Left”.
The American people are not as stupid as the ditto heads, and we voted earlier this month for change. We want our government to work (as in do something other than provide political theater), we want a new direction in Iraq (as opposed to staying the course that is only escalating the violence) and we want real oversight (instead of a rubber stamp Congress that acts only as an extension of the White House). We didn’t vote for more polarization or more of the kind of simplistic thinking that got us here. We understand that the world is complicated, made up almost entirely of shades of gray, and that it will take thought, discussion, differing views and hopefully consensus building in order to solve the problems we are facing. This president, with the help of his lap dog, do-nothing GOP led Congress, have made a terrible mess of things. We can only hope that by restoring the checks and balances so carefully constructed by our founding fathers, we can find some way of cleaning it up, or the very least, mitigating the damage as we extract ourselves from the hell we have created by turning our backs on the principles we were supposed to hold so dear.