Friday, September 08, 2006

Ruminations on Bush-hating




Like many, many Americans, watching President Bush on TV arouses in me a visceral contempt. His mangling of the language, his evasions and misdirects, his smarmy little frat-boy smirk, his phony-baloney piety - my teeth grit, my hands uncontrollably curl into fists when I ponder that this fucker is leader of the free world.

And yet what bothers me almost as much is this tendency of some on the left to unequivocally hate him and everything he does. Picking apart his every phrase, decontextualizing his speeches (which already start out pretty decontextualized), speculating on his motivations for every move - it eschews civilized debate for demonization, a tactic Bush himself is rightly excoriated for.

Why Bush-hating is problematic:

1. Hate is always such an ugly thing. It may make a Jedi powerful, but it does nothing to boost the average mortal human's moral acumen - or "karma," if you will.

2. A visceral, all-consuming hatred of Bush and all he stands for is exactly the kind of intractable attitude one finds so unconscionable in Bush himself, and the right in general.

3. It almost obliges a person to give fawning praise and unswerving fealty to Bush's opponent(s) or successors, no matter how unworthy they are.

4. It breeds a culture of Bush-hating that is self-perpetuating; that is, the only thing that can feed it is more hate. Eventually he'll be gone, and there will be a giant empty space inside all those for whom despising Bush was their daily bread.

The only useful end I can see it serving is to rally supporters to your cause - as legitimate a reason as any, but there are other ways to achieve this end.

I have no problem with calling him names, satirizing him in verse, photoshopping him fucking a dog, etc. These all fall under "fair use" criticisms of public figures in a free society. What's more, he deserves to be the most criticized President in history, given the crimes and misdemeanors he has committed. But hating him for hating's sake is a dead end, morally and rhetorically.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

I fucking hate you, Germanicus.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

I fucking hate the Eagles, man.

4:23 PM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

Fuck you assholes!

8:52 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

-Cus,

Once again a well-reasoned argument about why it's ok to disagree vehemently with Bush without granting him the ability to infallibly execute the demands of Satan has gone unrewarded.

This is why the Democrats, in my opinion, have not been winning. I was listening to Politically Direct on Air America, and for about 10 minutes I thought it was awesome. Then, after making very well reasoned attacks on CEO vs worker salaries and jobs fleeing the U.S., they began their assault on social conservatives, suggesting that pro-lifers hate women, blacks and gays. To paraphrase George Carlin, I love gays. Who has fewer abortions than gay people????

Hate itself isn't going to do it; if it could, it would have worked in 2002 or 2004. It's not even that hate is necessary--we are in an unpopular war and this is a mid-term election, which almost always goes against the party of the President (except in 2002).

BTW, anyone know a lawyer who hates insurance companies?

Love ya!

5:19 PM  

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