Monday, April 30, 2007
I live in San Diego, a heavily conservative military society, the people who live here all work for the government, directly or indirectly. They tend to be fundamentally worshipers, and have no problem with government use of their religious symbols. They are supernatural absolutist, and thus believe they are always right without reason. Their fear is tangible, in the way they support government unquestioningly. The smell of paranoia here is stifling, from the gated communities, to the gun-loving ex-military 'consultants', all seem to be suffering symptoms of P.T.S.D. Whenever a demonstration of dissent occurs, there are often more police at the rally than demonstrators.
At the California State Democratic Convention this weekend, the far left fringe of the democratic party was free to communicate. People calling for Bush's impeachment or trying to prevent the war on Iran were allowed to stand at the front doors of the convention center. Still the anti-government demonstrators were under constant surveillance by police who outnumbered them. But they talked to the police, even complained to them, there was a mood of honest communication. When the Republicans held their national convention in San Diego in 2000, they didn't even let demonstrators into down town without a permit, and absolutely none near the convention center, so much for free speech. When your ideas are week, you can not allow others to debate them.
When republican government officials travel they go with armed guards, or even private mercenary armies, like General Petraeus' Blackwater mercenary detail in Iraq. Yet in a world where any U.S. government official would be unwise to travel without a huge security contingent, John Edwards actually shook the hands of most of his supporters. His willingness to reach out and touch anyone who is with him is more than just a courageous act or an unwise security risk, it signals the basic difference between the democrats and the republicans. Democrats believe in the basic goodness of human kind, while republicans believe that all people are sinners. Democrats trust one another, and we are willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. Republicans trust only those who swear loyalty to their cause, and trust no one outside their incestuous family. Democrats are egalitarians, to us every person has value as our equals, they are our family, but Republicans are elitists, chosen people, so others are respected only by what they can do for, or against, you.
The truth of our world is that whenever a democrat becomes too popular, too powerful, he is martyred by a fanatic. Think of Gandhi, or MLK, or Bobby Kennedy. But for some reason you never hear of a progressive assassin killing off some Fascist right-wing politician. That's because democrats are not absolutists, we know that everyone is capable of both good and evil, and that we all have the free will to change. Our world view is more enlightened, we are not animals, we are rational human beings with free thought and the ability to learn. Our basic democratic values require hope for all people in this world, and the republican fatalists just don't have that.
No one who is afraid of people should become President of the USA. When paranoid people gain the power to destroy the world it is not a good thing. That's why the next U.S. President must be a democrat. We need someone who will revoke the Military Commissions Act, and end sanctioned torture. Someone who will restore Habeius Corpus as a universal right, and give every prisoner their day in court. Someone who will put an end to overseas prisons like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and any other secret CIA prisons that we are not allowed to know about. Anyone who would do that job will be risking their lives, and their families. We need someone with courage, who isn't afraid to risk everything for their country. Someone to help create a country worthy of risking everything. From what I witnessed on Sunday, John Edwards is that kind of person we need for President of the USA.