Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.



What your Democrat neighbors really think of you

Over at Loose Canon on Beliefnet, Charlotte Hayes posted a long consideration of whether the US should ever use torture (“A Tortured Debate: Gonzales on the Spit”, 6Jan05). The vent tube (aka the comment sidebar) started throbbing, and an Australian with the handle of Fromoz recalled how he had loved things American since he was a child longing to visit the places mentioned in Beach Boys songs.

“But not now”, he mourns. Most Americans “support lies as an excuse for war” and support invading another country and murdering innocents en masse. How “could any right-minded person” trust such people or feel safe “where most people approve of torture?” He recalls that when he was a Yankee Doodle-loving kid,
the USA was the saviour of the World, but now it seems to be a country dominated by religious fanatics who like to terrorise people by so flippantly torturing anyone they don't like.
This is overwrought bosh, and any red-blooded American patriot would be outraged at the antipodean wanker, if he could just get the giggling under control.

And then there is the reaction of the blue-staters. Heretic_for_Christ (it may or may not be relevant that his Beliefnet member statement of belief is that “religion builds walls . . whereas spirituality [reveals] that the light of God shines forth from anyone who is willing to let it.”) was so grieved “to acknowledge the truth in what you have said” that he was having trouble keeping his little light shining.
I am trying hard to separate the pride I have always felt in America as a powerful symbol of freedom and justice, and the shame I feel at the actions that Bush and his gang of thugs have set into motion over the past few years.
Actually, America is an ongoing practical application of particular principles of freedom and justice. That America isn't real to him; his emotional attachment is to an abstraction, which can be bright and perfect. What is real to him about America are the shameful real world actions of the Bush administration. There you have in distilled form why American liberals cannot be patriots. They can't love their country, because there is no country there--or no lovable coountry--to be loved.

Eastcoastlady (Belief: “Respect for others and belief without sanctimony and dogma.”) wasn’t even trying to separate the pride and the shame. She just wanted to distance herself from what she only reluctantly has to admit was the majority of her countrymen.
PLEASE, please don't generalize about how "most of us" feel about torture or about the administration.

It's patently obvious that your assertions are false. Only slightly above 50% of the nation endorsed Bush, and I'm hoping that those who did support him did not support every aspect of his platform.

"Most of us" don't support much of what you said about us US citizens, unless you want to pick nits about 51% being "most of the country". Mathematically I guess you could make the argument that most of the U.S. supported Bush, but it's not an unqualified endorsement.
Fromoz characterized Americans as religious fanatic torturers. Heretic and Eastcoastlady object to being lumped with the generalization, but the characterization doesn't faze them a bit. This is of a piece with what Heather MacDonald wrote : 'The "torture narrative" is gospel truth among elite opinion-makers, yet it is false in every detail', only it obviously isn't gospel just among the elite opinion makers . This is what many, many people in a blue-state of mind without hesitation think about any fellow citizen who disagrees with them. Fromoz doesn’t hate America; he just has a hateful concept of Americans, and so do Heretic_for_Christ and Eastcoastlady.

John Kerry was merely ahead of his time in 1971, and was obviously the perfect front man for his followers in 2004.


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