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June 20, 2003
Soapbox II - Xtreme Government

All considerations of being more objective aside, t's true that to a noticeable extent we're being governed by what I consider right-wing extremists right now.

(Really. Something like turning Guantanamo Bay into a permanent prison we can use for detainees when we don't want to be bothered by the Bill of Rights? The mind boggles. I'm about to digress again, aren't I?)

Because the left lost its focus and its drive, the country has drifted into the hands of the only group left with the passion and the willingness to wrest control for itself. As it happens, those people seem to be right-wing imperialist, interventionist types.

(I'm confronted by a mental picture of the original, "small government/fiscal responsibility" party seeing what the Republican Party has come to these days, and it's not a pretty picture.)

Still. I want to make it clear. There are those in this country, even a majority, who approved of the invasion of Iraq. I believe that a properly worded, properly conducted poll would discover that this majority supported the war almost as much for the humanitarian goals as for eliminating a potential danger to the US.

Should the WMD issue turn out to have been a red herring, I believe that the majority of that majority will not change their overall perception of this war, nor will they change their opinion of GWB's international/military policies. For one thing, there's a contingent (I've talked to some of them) for whom those two trailers are proof positive and in full that Hussein was running a full-out bio-weapons project. Other half-attentive voters heard or read Bush say, "we found WMD" and quit listening, so they'll always believe it.

Others are just...smugly content that it was quick. That fits their idealization of the USofA as some kind of unstoppable force.

(Right here I could go off into another rant on the idiocy of USofA citizens who have seen two "wars" where we've jumped on Iraq with about 400,000 hobnailed boots and warehouses full of long-distance death and who assume from our sanitized television "victories" that the Righteousness of Our Cause has been proven both times, but I won't. For one thing, it's not that simple a subject. Long-distance death does, in fact, save lives. Advanced technological weapons do save civilian lives. Civilians, and soldiers, still die, but fewer of them die when you're using a guided missile system than when you're just raining down bombs all over the place in the hope of hitting something. On the other hand, a cursory study of history suggests that we were "misled" into Gulf War I in much the same way we were misled into Vietnam and Gulf Invasion II, but all of that is outside the scope of this rant which I see has, in spite of my efforts, gone far off-topic.)

Where was I headed? Oh. Yeah, I remember. Extremist government policies.

I don't want to be governed by right-wing extremists, okay?

And, to be very clear, I don't want to be governed by left-wing extremists, either.

I don't want to hug a tree. Trees are dirty and have pointy bark bits that stab you. I don't lack sympathy for those who want to ban animal testing, but common sense tells me it's a better choice than first-round experiments on human beings. I want to protect the environment, but I don't want to give up owning a car. I want recycling and conservation, but I hate those plastic grocery bags that are so thin a quart of milk tears out the bottom and when I try to use the canvas ones, they load them so heavily they're impossible to carry without squishing my food.

Okay, I'm going off on a tangent again, I know, but those grocery bags are a major problem. Plus which, how can I be sure they're made from recycled plastic? What does it take to recycle plastic and am I, in fact, doing more harm to the environment using them than I would be using a paper bag that also claims to be made from recycled material? Should I buy one of those metal carts and use it to tote all of my groceries or are the resources used and the environmental damage caused by manufacturing it actually more significant, cumulatively, than the damage done by all of the grocery bags I'll be using over the next fifteen years?

These are questions we should be considering, but we're being governed by right-wing extremists, so now global warming is an unproven theory, and corporations will, if allowed, frolic happily to their manufacturing plants and voluntarily make reductions in air and water pollution and we'll all live happily ever after.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:11 AM