Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Politics of Rage and Hate

In what is sure to become his last ditch effort to gain the Republican nomination Mr. Giuliani is pressing forward with the politics of rage and hate that has endeared his Party to so many Americans. Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire Mr. Giuliani proposed expanding the war in Afghanistan with his own variation of the “surge” strategy. Also, Mr. Giuliani has released a new television ad with all the usual suspects (Osama, WTC, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and he’s added a new one (Benazir Bhutto). In the ad Mr. Giuliani stresses the point that the world is in chaos and America needs a leader who is ready, ready for what it doesn’t say. Nor does the ad mention who has been the creator of most of this world’s chaos.

“I think it wouldn’t be unfair to describe us as the 9/11 generation, because how we handle this is going to say something about us in history,” Mr. Giuliani said in his speech.

The push comes as some of Mr. Giuliani’s Republican rivals are questioning how his background as mayor of New York City gives him national security or foreign policy experience — questions Mr. Giuliani may not have allayed Wednesday when he told reporters that the United States had some troops “under U.N. command” in Afghanistan (when in fact the United States has some troops there under NATO command).

Military officials said last month that the NATO-led security assistance mission in Afghanistan had about 40,000 troops, including 14,000 Americans. Separately, the United States military has 12,000 other troops conducting specialized counterterrorism missions. Charles Hill, Mr. Giuliani’s chief foreign policy adviser, said that it was the American-led troops that Mr. Giuliani wanted to double, but that the rise could be gradual.

Mr. Giuliani’s new campaign advertisement — which will be broadcast here and in Florida, as well as nationally on Fox News — contains images of Muslims with rifles; explosions; a bloody man; Benazir Bhutto, who was recently assassinated in Pakistan; and the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[1]

Will this guy stop at nothing to become President? Now we are the 9/11 generation, as if to say everything we do will be couched in 9/11. The sad part about it is that for too many of our fellow citizens this has been true and this has led to an assault on our personal freedoms, our constitutional rights, and the world community. How many of these crack pots do they think they can get elected with the politics of fear? After 8 years of Bush, do they really think that American is looking to elect another one of these “the sky is falling” nuts? If the best campaign slogan you can come up with is “Be very afraid”, I think maybe this isn’t your election and someday soon won’t be your country.

My hope is that the first thing the next President will do is to lower the US threat level. After 8 years of being on red, maybe it is time to dial it back a little. While I am not advocating returning to the lax standards of security pre-9/11, I am saying that we have allowed fear of the unknown to go unchecked for too long. We must wakeup from the nightmare and stop fearing every little thing that goes bump in the night. We will never be able to do this, if we allow our fears to be stoked by Mr. Giuliani and his ilk. This line of “You are in danger and I am the only one who can protect you” is the same logic he tried to use to extend his term as Mayor. If the choices are an America with Rudy Giuliani as President or the terrorists, I am not so sure I wouldn’t be better off with the terrorists. How painful can getting your head cut off be? As one famous patriot so eloquently stated, “Give me liberty or give me death”. If nothing else the last 8 years should have shown us that the way these clowns want to protect us is with cameras, wire-taps, and by shredding the constitution; no thanks fellas I prefer the following sentiment. “It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.”[2]

Freedom like so many of life’s cherished gifts will not be missed until it has been lost. The greatest freedom one has is the freedom to decide what one is willing to die for. Mr. Giuliani may promise safety, but at what cost? I personally do not believe we as a nation are any safer today due to the policies of George Bush than we were seven years ago. Yet, despite approval ratings in the high twenties, Mr. Giuliani wants to out-Bush, George Bush. What is this guy smoking? The Mayor of 9/11 needs to go back to his rip-off consulting firm and allow America to get past the nightmare of 9/11 and move forward into a new day.

If the Iowa caucus taught me anything, it is that America is ready for change and in a big way. If you aren’t a part of that change I am afraid you will be left behind. I don’t know if there is enough sentiment to take the White House and government back, but it can no longer be ignored. The journey to take back America has begun. It is now time for all of us to decide. Do we continue to cling to fear and hatred of the past or do we get behind the change and move towards a better future? The choice is ours. I pray we choose wisely.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/03/us/politics/03giuliani.html
[2] http://thinkarete.com/quotes/by_teacher/Thomas%20H.%20Huxley

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