Saturday, 28 August 2004

Am I Too Gentle?

From the perspective of my more outspoken friends and colleagues, my writings here on the whole are pretty soft. Do I pull too many punches? Give too much credit to "the other side"? Watching Kerry, the DLC, and other Democrats give up so much ideological ground to Republicans has been maddeningly exasperating, and I don't want to be guilty of the same thing. Howard Dean was refreshing because he didn't mince words. That was misconstrued by some as being "far left", though anyone who looked at him honestly would see a centrist, who on economic issues was actually to the right of center.

For me it's important to be honest about my views, but also to acknowledge that other views are important.
Nothing will be solved in this world if everyone screams their passions and nobody listens to views different from their own. Still it's cathartic to let it all out sometimes. Garrison Keillor, that mellifluous voice that has entertained middle America for the last two decades from Lake Wobegon, has done just that as he observed the upcoming election:
Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy: the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.
Similarly, Bill Moyers has spent years of his life building a reputation for reason and even-handedness, and in the last three years has been spending some of that capital on his PBS show NOW telling us what he really thinks, all the while retaining a respectful discourse with a myriad of voices across America and around the World. Reasoned people can disagree with their opinions, but to deny that they speak from a deep moral center would be blindness.

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