Friday, July 30, 2004

A Few Reactions to the DNC

I haven't posted in at least a week and a half, because my summer job is killer, and I can't wait to get back to doing philosophy. I'm going to the beach for a few days though, and I wanted to say something about the Convention.

In general, I felt very positive about it, or, rather, I felt as positive as I possibly could in light of a few caveats about the general state of American political discourse. That is to say, although I was very happy to see that George W. Bush might very well be defeated by someone at least slightly left-of-center, I still have something of a bad taste in my mouth. If I sound overly negative, I'm not trying to be, I'm just raising a few issues.

Vietnam. While his military service definitely should be held up to the highest respect, and it is a useful lens with which to compare the young Kerry with the young Bush (i.e., there is no comparison, and any intelligent person should see this), it seemed like the war itself was being somewhat romanticized. I believe Bob Novak on Crossfire brought up Kerry's 1971 testimony and the line about "butchering innocent people" and explicitely said that it was a very unpatriotic thing to accuse his countrymen of doing. In a word: BULLSHIT! This is just more supporting-our-troops means supporting-the-war equivocation, and it's really starting to see how "intelligent" people could do it with a straight face. Every person who is historically aware at all knows that the Vietnam War was a very bad thing. We should never have been there in the first place. Which brings me to my beef with the Democrats. Everyone seemed very reluctant to come out and say that the war was a bad thing, which is why Kerry is twice the hero for being and anti-War leader after coming home. Of course, everyone knew this, but for PR purposes they gave his war record a much bigger stage than his peace record. There is no contradiction, even if filth like Bob Novak want you to think so.

Also, I'm an atheist, so lots of God-talk unnerves me when tied to politics, but I understand the political necessity. Kerry, towards the end of his speech, said something about not having God on our side, but being on God's side. This seems just completely empty to me, but it got huge applause. It is just as epistemically problematic to claim to know what would put us on God's side as to claim that God is on our side. Also, "With God on Our Side" by Bob Dylan is one of the greatest anti-War songs in history.

Of course, with the Republican Party, and particularly with the Bush Administration, these concerns are amplified one-thousand fold, so don't expect me to do anything other than vote Democrat accross the board anytime soon, unless there is a really great leftist candidate running a winning campaign.

But maybe not many people were watching anyway and these are small things. Ed Brayton has a number of blogospheric reactions that are very good. I defer to him for now.

3 Comments:

Blogger Peter Parker said...

Second that on the God talk. Its really sad that you need to say faith, God Bless America, and values like 40 times a day to win an election in this country. But i thought the "be on Godd's side comment" was a good play on words and it throws that shit right back into W's face.

And keep whining. about your job you putz.

July 31, 2004 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger eigenwill said...

I'm prepared to tolerate a good deal of pious bullshit if it's necessary for a Dubya defeat.

July 31, 2004 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger eigenwill said...

At least Lieberman's not on the ticket. "Freedom of religion doesn't mean Freedom FROM religion" -- Good one, Joe!

July 31, 2004 at 5:48 PM  

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