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  • Why I Didn't Watch the State of the Union Address

       January 29, 2008

    Did you watch last night's State of the Union address? I didn't. I've suddenly turned into one of those people that actually resent the President for bumping Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles from its regularly scheduled time. I remember a time was I was riveted to the screen and actually believed in a lot of the President's foreign policy agenda. What happened (and no, my liberal friends, I didn't finally "wake up" - believe me I'm still sleeping)?

    I think I lost some of my idealism. Idealism is inevitably associated with modern liberalism, but why is that? Modern liberalism is a cynical political philosophy. It assumes that people suck and need to be reined in in order for society to survive. The government has to take care of us because we a) can't take care of ourselves and b) won't take care of each other unless we're forced to. A small government conservative, on the other hand, idealistically believes that, left pretty much to themselves, people will be okay. Conservatives (or at least the kind of conservative that I want to be) also believe in the intrinsic value of freedom. It's the freedom to make something of yourself that's important, not what you actually do make of yourself.

    So what does that have to do with Iraq? Well, the idealistic conservative inside of me really believed that Iraqis would leap at the chance to participate in a democratic society. Um, not so much. Oh sure, "Abdul Iraqi" has had to put up with terrorists, but revolutionaries the world over have risked their lives for a chance at freedom. Why wouldn't Iraqis do the same?

    Maybe it's because that kind of commitment has to come from within a nation rather than be impressed upon it. Maybe it was stupid to think that a nation that didn't have the will to overthrow Saddam would embrace democracy on their own. Maybe it was foolish to believe that a nation without any tradition of democracy would easily become one. Maybe the best that we can hope for right now in the Middle East is the kind of relatively benevolent dictatorship embodied by Sheik Mohammed in Dubai.

    Whatever it is, I no longer believe that nation building is the key to defeating terrorism. Now, I ruthlessly believe that killing terrorists is the key to defeating terrorism. That's not the kind of attitude that inspires lofty rhetoric. It's not even the kind of attitude that tolerates lofty rhetoric. I'm sick of flowery words and political posturing. I want someone who is just going to 'git 'er done'.

    Posted by at January 29, 2008 10:41 AM

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    #  January 29th, 2008 11:07 AM      BVBigBro
    Sounds to me like you have merely become impatient.  
    #  January 29th, 2008 6:00 PM      themandownthehall
    I have never listened to a GWB speech. At first it was just painful to listen to him. He has a freaking MBA, but talks like he never finished second grade. But after 7 years, I just don't believe the man. Amnesty is not Amnesty? Strong borders, yet puts agents in jail? Strict constructionalists, but Harriet Meyers? Says to stop the earmarks, but signs every one of them? Says he'll be a tough CIC but buckles to every demand for BS investigation the dems put up? Where will he waffle on us next. Here's counting down to a Romney term...  
    #  January 29th, 2008 6:02 PM      themandownthehall
    Oh, and Kris, I think that Iraq can still work. We just need patience. However, there are some definite screwups that should be fixed. Starting with Al-Sadr.  
    #  January 29th, 2008 7:15 PM      kris
    Oh great - now that Guns 'N Roses song is in my head.  
    #  January 29th, 2008 10:25 PM      TheUnabrewer
    You're Crazy?  
    #  January 29th, 2008 11:10 PM      Squibbly
    I watched the state of the union address... but after enough yammering on and on, I started wondering if they had someone in front of the audience holding up signs: Applause-Republicans only; Applause-Democrats only; Applause-Everyone; Standing O-Everyone; Self Righteous Smirk-Hillary only etc.  



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