Monday, March 07, 2005
Okay, guys, what do you think of this?
My feeling at the moment is that I disagree very, very deeply with just about everything he's said. And yet my biggest criticism is, oddly enough, that he's too idealistic.
How can you claim with any level of accuracy that taxes are unnecessary because people are altruistic enough to provide for their fellow human beings of their own volition? Does anyone really believe that enough people are capable of the kind of independent altruism that would be necessary to ensure that there aren't millions of people in society who, through no fault of their own, slip through the cracks?
How can you argue that following through with a threat is more important than identifying the underlying reasons behind that threat? (say, millions of disenfranchised people who turn to fundamentalist Islam out of desperation). How does destroying these people do anything to solve the problem of how attractive fundamentalism and violence are for those without other forms of resistance available to them? Doesn't it just create martyrs, and don't martyrs foster MORE fundamentalism, and then don't you just have a worse problem than you had to begin with?
This aptly-named Unrepentant Individual seems to genuinely believe that fundamentalist Islam will try to take over the world, in a sort of paranoid, Star Wars-esque battle between good (the United States, of course!) and evil (um...Muslims. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, the CRUSADES! Yay for regression to the Middle Ages!). This is a simplistic dichotomy to say the least. As Dag so eloquently put it (hopefully she doesn't mind my quoting her): "Isn't the United States also interested in nothing else but converting the entire world to Western culture/capitalism, by whatever means necessary?"
The other thing is that Bush can THINK he is improving the world all he wants, but that doesn't make it real. Convictions cannot be followed through with for their own sake. What about the huge national debt he's racked up? Regardless of Unrepentant's announcement that Bush is a great leader because he stands up for what he believes in no matter what the rest of the world thinks, the U.S. does not exist in a vacuum. It is ludicrous to pretend that the opinions and concerns of the other nations of the world are trivial and of no consequence to the foreign policy of the United States. This is why the U.S. is collecting enemies wherever it goes: because with zero mandate to do so, it acts as a conscience to an unwilling world that holds its own legitimately divergent beliefs and convictions.
Abundant logical fallacies aside, the guy is clearly intelligent and has laid out his opinions in a way that is (most of the time) not vicious or discriminatory, and for these reasons he strikes me as one of the least deplorable conservatives I have ever heard of. Despite the fact that I disagree with him on nearly all points, I respect that he doesn't resort to religious justifications, utterly inexplicable patriotism, or completely irrational ranting to prove his points.
I know that stats will lead him back to my blog, so, er, bring it on.
Many thanks to Dag for directing me to his site.
I'd like to know what everyone's opinions are on the subject.
On another note, I wanted to apologize to the people I haven't been sending emails to lately (Rick, I have you particularly in mind here). I've been waiting for a time when I feel like I can compose a decent and well-thought-out response, and with the amount of sleep I've been getting lately, that may take a while. So, sorry, but don't worry, because I haven't forgotten about you!
Gotta go stunting now.