There will always be a constant proportion of the population who are solely ideologically driven. Many are otherwise highly intelligent except when confronted with challenges to their belief system. They would rather succumb to the demagoguery or simply just stick their collective heads into the collective sand rather than have their beliefs challenged. That number tends to be around 25 percent - it is as low as approval ratings ever fall. It’s about how many people still believe there are WMD in Iraq or that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were bosom buddies.
Then there are those who I would call “brand loyal.” They are straight ticket voters who generally identify with a party platform and stick with it, thick or thin. If you’re pro-choice you are generally affiliated with the Democrats; anti-abortionists, of course, align with the Republican Party. Other historical political party platform planks are not so easily identified anymore. Big government used to be the Democrat's territory, but the Republicans have created the biggest government ever. Still, those in favor of small government lean towards the Republicans, while the Libertarian Party, the only true small-government party, languishes as an ineffectual third party.
Bush II has lost the brand loyalists. Even Nixon’s California numbers at the height of Watergate never fell below about 25 percent. Bush's numbers here are almost as low. People don’t like to be wrong. Some don’t like it so much that the facts don’t much matter. But the truth, for many, trumps personal righteousness - and comfort. The many Republicans who have the personal integrity to admit not that they made a mistake, but that they were wrong in supporting a president who has, are the reason for Bush’s ever dwindling support. Indeed, this president might even prove that the “loyalty constant” is too high.
In my last piece, I ventured back into commenting on this administration for this first time since the 2007 State of the Union Address and theDemocratic Response.Although I am not a registered Democrat, neither am I a Republican. I have no affiliation save this: I am not a fan of this administration; never have been. It’s not because Bush is a Republican. In my piece, I didn’t beat around the bush (sorry!). I called it like I see it, and Bush doesn’t come out looking good. I could have been far harsher - many of my readers were. There was one comment, however, that got me thinking.
I'll be honest enough to say I have mixed feelings. Many of the politicians who were gung ho on the war at the beginning are backpeddling now (and those are the ones who truly make me sick and why I hate politics in general). I supported the war not because of WMD or oil but because Saddam Hussein was a nut who put children in prison, gassed his own people (anyone remember the picture of the dead man holding his baby, it's sightless eyes staring upward?) and ran those who disagreed with him through a woodchopper. Even the UN said he had one of the worst human rights records in history. My friends in the military who've come back from Iraq say we hear mostly the negative news and very little of the good, such as schools being built and women's rights being restored. If nothing else, one of the most evil men on the planet is gone. Sometimes I think we need to get out now, then I think if we do that, the lives that have been lost will be in vain. I don't know what the answer is...
Becca ~ You asked some legitimate questions. Although I might not have the answer you're looking for, I do have some comparative information that could help shine some light on what the answer is not... but not necessarily what the answer is.
If this sounds like fodder for a future post, you are right. Stay tuned, tonight or tomorrow a response will be posted.
Although “Becca” uses a name, it is still an anonymous comment. There is no email or blog attached; there is no way to respond directly. There is no maliciousness in what she said… in fact, she sounds absolutely frustrated, dismayed and let down. I am sure that she doesn’t like being led down the garden path. What she is holding onto is valid: A very evil man has been taken out. She also claims that we are not hearing the whole story and there are a number of positive aspects to our taking out this dictator. Perhaps, but let’s start with her first point.
Briefly, we are not the world’s police force. Congress never would have authorized military force just to save the people of Iraq from Hussein. Bush, et al had to have more and he/they knew it. They either grossly misinterpreted the intelligence (for those inclined to be generous) or fabricated it (for those who are not). Furthermore, before Iraq invaded Kuwait, we didn’t have any problem with his atrocities - nobody cared. If taking out “bad” people is the criteria, we should look to our own history and give someone else the job. Can you say Pinochet?
As far as not getting the whole story, there is an element of truth in that statement, however, it’s a two-edged sword. We also don’t get all the information on the violence, the bloodshed, and a great many other “details” that we don’t "need to know." How many coffins have you seen taken off the transports at Dover AFB? Our government doesn’t want us to see them - access denied! Furthermore, we can’t get reports of schools and other social good because if reporters venture outside the Green Zone without serious armament, they get killed. Or kidnapped, tortured… and then killed.
Finally Becca, you say, “If nothing else, one of the most evil men on the planet is gone.” To which I ask, at what cost? How many good men have to die? How many innocent civilians have to be blown up. True, Hussein was bad, but is it better now? You seem like a sensitive, thinking and caring person - it is not my wish or desire to make you feel uncomfortable. However, if you are taking comfort in your statement, I am duty bound to challenge that comfort.