Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Colonial Congress

Long before I had a blog, I wanted to write something about the increasingly colonial rhetoric that many of the democrats had adopted during the Iraq war debate. One of the most frustrating aspects of this rhetoric was that it was being used by people who I otherwise liked. (Jim Webb and Jon Tester are some of the first names that come to mind)

However, the most striking example of this came when I attended the Take Back America conference and Hillary Clinton addressed the crowd about the Iraq war, and placed the blame of that smoldering mess on the Iraqi people and government. After that speech, my aunt Helen and I were completely stunned. It could have been one of the more offensive speeches I had ever head, or at least live. She was boo-ed, but not nearly as much as it deserved. Not only would she not begin to accept responsibility for her foolish vote and war cheer-leading for years that followed, but she actually blamed the mess on the Iraqis themselves.

In my mind this seemed quite similar to the rhetoric of the colonial era, where it was the noble Europeans with their high minded idealism taming savages throughout the world. At one point around the time of Clinton's speech, some focus group must have shown this to be effective, because it seemed to really take off and become more widespread. Now, it is almost commonplace among most politicians, and it is something to keep an eye on, and be very concerned about as the situation in Iraq gets worse, and the political pressure to withdraw heightens.

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post, but I just wanted to get some of this out there before I wrote about it further. And sadly, I believe there is a strong undercurrent of racism that exists just below the surface of our culture and discourse, which means that there is a market for this type of talk out there. And if there is a market for this nonsense, someone will be there to take the bait.

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