Monday, October 18, 2004

On the "Meaning Of Words"

To my friend A Red Mind In A Blue State, on his postingThe Meaning Of Words

There is no anti-war movement against Iraq in the Vietnam sense or even in the World War I sense, or the Civil War draft riot sense. All we have is a candidate running for President, and his supporters, criticizing the President's rush to war and his prosecution of the war (c.f. General McClellan, Thomas Dewey, Richard Nixon). Oops, there we go trotting out those passe Republicans like Nixon, who did not end a foreign policy debate at the water's edge.

A free and open U.S Presidential election should terrorize terrorists, and embolden Iraqis who long for the same. They see that people in America can criticize their leaders. In the Middle East, if you criticize the sovereign, he chops off your head.

If you are worried about the power of words, the entire right has to stop saying that every criticism of the President, whether or not it relates to the conduct of this war, confuses the dumb and dumber into taking precipitous actions, is "aid and comfort to the enemies", "treason", leads to more riots in the street or deaths on the battlefield. If the right, based on its polling data, trivializes the meaning of words like treason and aid and comfort to the enemies, how would they know they knows these things if they really saw it? What if, now that the only people who matter in Washington are Republicans, one Republican wants to criticize another Republican? Is John McCain committing treason every time he speaks?