Thursday, January 20, 2005

Freedom or Else

The President is more than intent on changing the world than on changing America.
- NPR's Daniel Schorr* commenting Bush's inauguration speech today.
In his address, the President seemed primarily intent on both justifying and advocating his efforts to spread freedom throughout the world. Mentions of domestic matters were few and far between, and any mention of the administration's increasingly discredited social security plan was noticeably absent. By my count, he used the word "freedom" 27 times in his speech. All in relation to the administration's foreign policy.
The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
It's hard to argue against freedom, isn't it? And this administration is using that word like a hammer. To justify it's aggressive policies and to corner its critics into submission. It's a nasty but incredibly effective rhetorical device. After all, "freedom" sounds much better than "cowboy diplomacy" doesn't it? Or even "pre-emptive war." Or especially "no WMD." "Freedom" though. Arguing against that is positively traitorous.
And our country must abandon all the habits of racism because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
Well, amen to that. I'm sure he'll drop that idea for a constitutional amendment then.
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."
- Abraham Lincoln
Bush quoted Lincoln but certainly did not emulate him.

*Thank God for NPR. Can critics of the enterprise really compare someone like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, or Brit Hume for that matter with the elegant, dignified and ever articulate Mr. Schorr?

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