Monday, October 27, 2008

Words Matter

Here's William Kristol's screed in today's New York Times.

It's truly amazing how he and his neocons, who are all about making millions in war machinery, use the language of war, and frame their arguments in terms of war.

McCain is losing his bid to be elected president because of the current economic crisis. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have become Section B topics in the main stream media. George H.W. Bush lost his bid for a second term because of a bad economy, even though he had led the coalition to kick Saddam out of Kuwait.

In this piece Kristol is advising McCain to remind people that the president is commander-in-chief, not just a super administrator. His entire argument is based on war. He even ends the piece with "give it a shot".

Of course anyone might have used that phrase. Except, in Kristol's case it serves as a bookend for his entire message which he began by quoting a French General, "I attack".

The use of the militaristic metaphor in advising a candidate who aspires to be president of our democracy exposes and magnifies Kristol's world view that America is and needs to be all about war.

For contrast, James Carroll compares McCain's and Obama's world views, using US/Russian relations as an example.

It baffles the mind that anyone can still claim to be undecided. The contrast in world views is stark, vivid and clear. The possibility that many voters(some polls tally them at up to 12%) will flip a coin in the voting booth is truly frightening. That's tantamount to our future being decided by people who don't get it, don't care or who really are the dunces John McCain has been appealing to for the past several weeks.

For further enlightenment on the unenlightened, read Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post on the undecideds of West By God Virginia here.

Leanderthal, Lighhouse Keeper

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