The Wall Street Journal gave the top half of its opinion page yesterday to a long essay by Peter Berkowitz titled “The Insanity of Bush Hatred.” If anything, it deserves a gold medal for political propaganda – make that political lies. What caught my attention immediately was the frequent use of the word “progressive” to describe the people Berkowitz was attacking. It was used ten times. In other words, progressives were attacked for hating Bush.
There is a major lie of omission. No mention was made of the vast number of Americans that certainly do not call themselves progressives that hate Bush. Surely there are many millions of sane independents, moderates, libertarians, conservatives and liberals that rightfully hate Bush. To ignore all these Americans betrays the intellectual legitimacy of the article and its arguments.
Here are the few core reasons given by Berkowitz for condemning Bush hatred:
It is not a rational force in politics. It clouds and impairs political judgment. It subverts sound thinking. It has addled minds. It damages the intellect. It reduces “complicated events and multilayered issues to simple matters of good and evil.” It “blinds to the other sides of the argument, and constrains the hater to see a monster instead of a political opponent.”
There is no detailed analysis of all the ways that the Bush administration has betrayed our Constitution. No mention, for example, of Bush signing statements that self-justifies not obeying the laws passed by Congress. No mention that the Bush claim of not using torture is so obviously a lie. No mention of using illegal surveillance of Americans and lying about it. No mention of countless lies used to get us into the absurd and costly Iraq war. No mention of the enormous amount of evidence showing that 9/11 was not solely an operation by foreign terrorists, but involved the federal government. And on and on.
The only rational and sane conclusion is that hating Bush is justified and completely sane.
There is some truth to the opening statement: Hating the president is almost as old as the republic itself. But the growing consensus that George W. Bush will go down in history as the nation’s worst president is a much larger truth. It is perfectly reasonable for ALL Americans to hate Bush for squandering the lives of the many people in our armed forces, for squandering the nation’s wealth, and for squandering our nation’s good name and reputation. Bush is a national embarrassment and disgrace, and for that he deserves to be hated.
All those with a clear and sound intellect, rational objectivity, sensible judgment, and the ability to know evil when they see it should hate Bush. Hating Bush is nothing to be ashamed of. The real challenge is moving beyond Bush hatred to seeing the need for deep political reforms that restores American democracy. We must convert the national Bush-hatred-energy into rebellious action. We must re-establish our constitutional checks and balances and removing the unlawful and excessive powers of the presidency. How do we achieve reforms? That is the right question.
As to insanity: I say we must stop doing the same thing and expecting different results. That same thing is voting for Democrats or Republicans. We must remember that virtually all the evil and corrupt things Bush has done could not have been accomplished without the tacit or explicit support of Democrats in Congress. The two-party partnership also deserves our hatred. It has removed political competition and the ability of third party candidates from winning national office. To let Bush hatred result in knee-jerk support for Democrats is a mistake.
The only way to restore American democracy is to remove the legitimacy and credibility of the two-party-controlled political system. The way to do that is through a voter boycott in the 2008 elections for the president and members of Congress. Neither Democrats nor Republicans faithfully represent the interests of the public and that makes our representative democracy a sham. To keep playing the game and voting for any candidates that are members of the vast two-party criminal conspiracy is plain stupid. If Americans keep sustaining this corrupt and dishonest two-party system, then they will continue to witness the decay of our society.