Friday, January 28, 2005

Panhandle Wisdom

Can't say I've ever heard of Moses Sand, but Dean Esmay has a spoken essay of his on his site and it's pretty good. It's friggin' huge, but you should check it out:

Personally, I get a measure of amusement out of watching polls rise and fall based on daily news stories. If you have a memory, go back and you'll see that through it all ol' Bush's never varied in a thing he said from the first day. Nor has he lied. The first time America met the Germans head-on in World War Two, they kicked our ass. A place called Kasserine Pass in North Africa. I don't recall anyone asking for Ike's head after that fight, let alone FDR's. Ten times more Americans died there in a few hours than have died in over a year in Iraq. You can look it up.

So, when I see that sixty percent of Americans say the Iraq war wasn't worth it one day, compared to sixty who said it was a helluva good idea a year earlier, that says more about America than it ever did about ol' Bush.

What it really says is that anybody will lay a bet on a fight when it looks like a sure thing.

Well, in wars, just like bar fights, there's two kinds of bystanders. First are those who take sides no matter what the outcome. They have a stake it in... could be family, philosophy, money. Who knows? Then there's those who just sort of naturally glide to the sideline, waiting to see which way the fight tilts. Them? Their most over-powering urge is to look like they came out on the winning side in the end. Both are natural human conditions. You see it everywhere. The stakes determine.

"What worries me is when the fight is about something as important as a person's stake in his own House, and his own House's stake in his own democracy, it makes you kinda worry... that so many, almost fifty percent now, are sidling off to the side to see who wins before they cast their vote. That means they don't know a damned thing about the real stakes in this fight. They don't know a damned thing about their democracy anymore, because they don't really know a damned thing about their own House.

It's also probably why the people of Baghdad became so quiet after that shoe-slapping spree. Remember? Same as right out here a hunnerd and fifty years ago. It was why townsfolk, peeping out shop windows when the marshal was staring down outlaws in the street, didn't yell out, 'Look out, Sheriff, there's one up there on the roof!' Think about it. What if that guy on the roof nails the marshal... which was most likely in those days? What if ol' Bush really loses? Far too many people for my taste want to position themselves to damn his soul to hell if he does lose, but be able up to rush to his side if he wins, so they can say, 'We was always right there behind you, Dubyah.

The sad truth, Mr. Bushmills, it's those people that carry an election nowadays, for there's an overabundance of cowards, lawyers' wives and other reformed whores among 'em.

LOVE the last line. That may be my new signature; I'll have to think about it for a spell. As thick and faux-homespun as it's laid on, the guy's right. Most people are pretty cowardly when the stakes are high. That's fine, I just don't want them calling the shots. The real voices of fear are on the left these days, and W just keeps saying the same thing over and over: You can't run from these people, and from now on that's what they're going to be saying about us. And that's a good thing.

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