it's not all dick and fart jokes
Every once in a while, Ace gets his head out of the gutter and writes a pretty darn thoughtful post. Don't get me wrong, I'm usually right there in the gutter with him, but when I first started reading blogs, a post of his on divisive politics
made him an early favorite for me. It was one of the few times I've ever actually bothered to write an email to a blogger and tell him I really liked a post.
He has another one up, with the Whittle-esque title "Willpower
". It's actually been up a few days, but I was too lazy to bother logging in to blogger to link it this weekend. If you have a few minutes, it's worth the read, he pins down the political creature dubbed a "bird of paradise" and slaps them back to reality.
I think that the phenomenon described by Ace, the Sullivans of the world that initially supported the war and then backed out of it when things got a bit tough, is due in large part to the insulated life we lead here in America. Too many expect a war to be nothing more than a game of Risk or Age of Empires, and are shocked when they start seeing pictures and hearing stories of people killed. America is suppossed to be able to do absolutely anything, when it is discovered that we aren't omnipotent it comes down on them like a ton of bricks. Nevermind that this has been one of the singluarly most succesful military campaigns ever, the fact that people might die because of it is just too much to handle. We are suppossed to be able to control the war as a video game or a movie in which the director lets the good guy win; when we jump the script, it's the end of the world. Or at least, the loss of the war.
Ace equates Sullivan with Kerry. I don't really think that that is a fair comparison, in a sick sort of way Kerry gets a pass because everybody knows he's only doing what he does for political manipulation. He voted for the war when it was popular knowing better than most what the costs would be; after all, as he is so fond of reminding us, he fought in Vietnam. He knew the potential for death and carnage was much higher than it has turned out to be, but by acting the shocked dupe he is manipulating those who were against the war in the first place as well as the Sullivans that think the war has jumped the shark, and doing it in such a way that he is pulling in nearly half the electorate. It's dishonest, unprincipled, and to me it is downright disgusting, but that's politics, and he's doing a pretty solid job of it.
People are portraying this election as the end of the debate on the war on terror, but I don't think that's accurate. I think it is going to take another several years and perhaps another attack (or more) on the country before the majority breaks dovish or breaks hawkish. As much as I would like to claim a Bush victory means that everyone in America is coming around to my way of thinking, that is simply not true. It would be a good sign, but not a conclusion. Eventually, we will reach a do-or-die moment, as Spain did before their election, and we will find out what this country is really all about: victory, whatever the cost; or maintainence of the status quo.