Monday, September 21, 2009

I Hold These Truths to be Pretty Darn Clear (Even If Nobody Else Does)

While there is plenty to argue about today, these issues should not be on the list.
Somehow we confused fighting a war in Afghanistan with our national interest, which is keeping the US safe by killing terrorists. Since the Islamic fundamentalist insurgency is convinced the United States is fighting an global anti-Muslim war, could we find some way to fight them that doesn't hand them a propaganda victory every time we drop a bomb?

 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does say some crazy shit, but that doesn't mean his opponent Mousavi is a noble humanitarian. Mousavi was Prime Minister when Iran founded the Hezbollah, if that gives you some clue to his political leanings. 

I know lazy reporters call him  a reformer, but he just wants to make Iran a better theocracy, not turn it into the 51st state. If this guy was running the show in Tehran, the Flying Spit Index might dip, but other than that, we wouldn't notice.

Two more things from the bleeding obvious pile.
1) Iran's internal struggles are none of our business. Can we focus on their nuclear program?
2) Even if Mousavi was Thomas Jefferson come again, any support from the US would hurt him way more than it helped.

Back Home
The US is a not-particularly-ideological center-right country and that isn't going to change. What's new is we're now an angry center-right country. Gas prices are going nowhere good, the house is an unreliable ATM, people are getting laid off all over the place, and we're running two wars.

The defining political characteristic of 2009 is not a resurgence of racism or socialism*, but anger. The electorate threw Bush out of office, and is impatiently waiting for Obama to fix things.
The key to political victory in the next couple years is figuring out why the electorate is angry (not hard) and what to do about it (very hard). Will the voters give them chance? Angry people are tough to predict. Anyone sitting in Congress or the Oval Office should try very hard not to make them angrier.

*All the bloviating about racism and socialism is "fun", but ultimately pointless. Being nasty has a long and glorious tradition in this Republic. Go read what Benjamin Bache wrote about George Washington in the Aurora after the Jay Treaty was signed, if you don't believe me.

Also, most of the internet political readers ARE ideological and do have a clear political philosophy, so if you're angry about creeping socialism, and have proof, you may indeed be livid, but I'm not talking about you. You've probably been mad for a while.  We are hugely outnumbered by the not-particularly-ideological and we live in their world.


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