mad in pursuit: greed & arrogance

2004 political season

mad in pursuit home

greed & arrogance index


9.1.04 Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammunition

Do nice guys really finish last?

In Salon this morning, Eric Boehler gazes in awe at the success of the Republican machine:

Back before the Watergate break-in, Republican operatives had a name for their unique brand of below-the-belt campaign attacks: "rat fucking." Part character assassination, part collegiate pranks, the dirty tricks -- conducted in utmost secrecy -- were designed to throw Democrats off balance, create confusion, and tarnish reputations. Three decades later these attacks have been perfected. Except now they're practiced out in the open for everyone, including the compliant media, to witness.

"Turning the other cheek" is not really in American vocabulary, despite all our "What Would Jesus Do?" bumper stickers. Jesus wasn't so much a hero as a martyr. Martyrs make us believe in the power of evil. Our real heroes kick ass to avenge the martyrs. How far would the Hobbits have gotten without their warriors and their wizard?

If you are a mere human fighting the Forces of Evil, then you are obliged to do as much rat fucking as necessary to get the job done.  "The high road" is for weaklings who don't have the stomach for diving into the muck with the devil. Goodness does not conquer Evil. It would appear that cleverness and control of the media trump goodness.

We liberal intellectuals think we have risen above seeing the world as Good vs. Evil. We like policy discussions and lofty humanist ideals like "finding common ground." We would rather not see the world in terms of winners and losers -- we like conciliation, compromise, consensus-building. So, in a country that gives you a hundred sports channels, replaces story-writing with win-lose reality shows, and solves fiscal problems with gambling casinos and off-track betting, what does that make us? Losers.

We better get out our Bibles and study up on the pharisees and money-changers who took over the temple. There's a war to fight and it ain't in Iraq.





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