February 25, 2004

Dumbing Down The USA

As the dumbest and most morally bankrupt (P)resident the USA has ever had, George W. Bush is a symptom of a wider mallaise. Four years ago, Bush promised to be "a uniter, not a divider" but now he uses the tactics of the schoolyard bully, splitting the playground into those who oppose him and those who can join his gang (or at least timidly move about their business and avoid the bullying). But will Bush be able to win the election by dumbing down the issues and intimidating anyone who opposes him?

As Greg Moses writes in Counterpunch, Bush's "most sinister political talent is to rally us against them, whoever they are.

"That is why so few politicians voted against the Patriot Acts or the wars. When Bush brought these issues to the table, he did so with his singular genius for relegating the opposition into an intolerable world apart.

"Now he attempts to do the same thing with gay and lesbian marriage. 'If you dare to vote against this prohibition you will be counted among the forces of darkness, and we will bury your political future.' That is the tone that Bush is able to strike, even if he never quite puts it that way. He has a talent for raising a mob with code words that mask naked power with righteousness."

Michael Avery, President of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), says the bullying is also widespread in legal circles:

"This administration is trying to criminalize dissent, characterize protesters as terrorists and trying to intimidate and marginalize those opposed to its policies," Avery said. It has opened the floodgates to all kinds of investigative activities and now "police agencies across the country are actively engaged in spying and compiling dossiers on citizens exercising their constitutional rights."

For details of the legal bullying, see Working For Change.

Another interesting Bush quote comes from his latest TV appearance, where he childishly taunted the Democrats:

"They now agree the world is better off with Saddam out of power," he said. "They just didn't support removing Saddam from power. Maybe they were hoping he would lose the next Iraqi election."

Ha ha.

Sadly, it is a level of debate, and a style of rhetoric, which will win him many supporters among the Republican faithful. And that is becoming an increasingly important campaign goal, as increasing numbers of Republicans start to drift away from the party. No wonder Bush is proposing the Gay Marriage Amendment - what hard-core Republicans could vote against THAT?


Blog Archive