Thursday, August 02, 2007

On Language and Rational Thought

Language can be used to communicate -- to convey meaning -- or to obfuscate, and thereby obscure meaning. The Republicans currently occupying the White House, and the mindless drones who follow them, are particularly adept at the latter: using language to obscure meaning. For example, whenever rational people -- that is, anyone who opposes the Cheney-Bush cabal -- suggests that maybe, just maybe, we have overstayed our welcome in Iraq, the supporters of Bush's war intone, "The liberal Democrats have forgotten the lessons of 9/11." Well, what are those lessons, exactly? Let's see: ignoring your own intelligence sources leads to disaster. That's one lesson that Bush should have learned after he decided that a PDB on 8/6/2001 entitled, "Bin Laden determined to strike within United States" didn't require any action before he left for one of his numerous vacations. But, judging by how many experts at the CIA, State Department, and Pentagon Bush ignored before deciding to invade Iraq (he's the "decider," after all), it seems that Bush didn't learn a damned thing from 9/11. Hell, he couldn't even figure out who attacked us on 9/11. (Hmm...17 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis...Bin Laden is a Saudi...but most of my daddy's money comes from the Saudis...and Saddam once tried to kill my daddy...better attack Iraq.) And to think he figured all of this out while reading "My Pet Goat."

To hear the brain-dead right-wingers tell it, however, the lesson -- the only lesson -- of 9/11 was, "The terrorists want to kill us." NO! Really? I never would have guessed! What gave it away? Was it the two humongous skyscrapers crumbling to the ground after terrorists flew planes into them? Because I tell you, the Republicans were the only people in America who watched that horrendous scene over and over, and suddenly smacked their foreheads (I know, cause I heard the echoes) and exclaimed, "Goddamn it, these Ay-rabs are tryin' to kill us!" The rest of us just couldn't put it together. I mean, it sure seemed like an attack -- the kind that a competent president would politely excuse himself from a kindergarten class for in order to take command of the situation -- but if the president wasn't concerned, then who were we to worry? Fortunately for us, the Republicans who love war -- despite having moved heaven and earth to make sure that they themselves never had to serve a day in the armed forces -- had already figured out that the terrorists were trying to kill us. Now, why didn't anyone else think of that?

Which brings us to a definition, or rather, a pair of antonyms: "rational" versus "irrational." Lately, whenever I criticize Cheney, Bush, or that lying sack of excrement Alberto Gonzalez, some right-wing scumbag like Bill O'Reilly tells me that I have an "irrational" hatred of George W. Bush. Exactly why is it irrational to hate George Bush? The man who stole two national elections, who couldn't protect his country against foreign attack, who lied us into a bloody and unnecessary war, who trampled all over the Constitution, who ordered illegal spying against American citizens -- that George Bush? Hell, it would be positively psychotic not to despise the man! How is he deserving of anything other than our utter contempt?

If you want to talk about what's "irrational," let's try these on for size:
* Throwing out UN arms inspectors so that you can invade a country that neither attacked nor threatened us;
* Ignoring the advice of people far smarter and more experienced than yourself in grave matters of national security;
* Vetoing legislation that would have made use of frozen embryos due to be destroyed in research that could save countless lives;
* Supporting the teaching of abstinence-only sex education while suppressing information about condoms and safe sex;
* Declaring that the greatest threat to the American family is not the lack of affordable health care, the persistence of poverty-level wages, corporate dumping of toxic waste, or education programs that penalize instead of rehabilitate -- but gay marriage.

It's tempting to conclude that our "president" isn't just irrational, he's a complete loon. Except that one theme clearly emerges from the above statements: Bush is governing not like an American chief executive, but like an evangelical preacher. Ever heard an evangelical preacher ranting and raving? Totally devoid of any semblance of rational thought...which is bad enough in a "man of the cloth," but far more dangerous in the leader of the free world. God save us from those who claim to be doing His work, for surely they are babbling idiots.


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