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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US: Presidential campaign « Previous | |Next »
August 29, 2004

I've been watching the US presidential race at a distance. The Republican National Convention is due to roll in New York this week.

From what I can see the dirty tricks of the Atwater/Rove mud treatment have been successfully deployed by the shadowy Bush hitmen against a lacklustre and lame John Kerry. Just as the dirt was deployed against Michael Dukakis (the Willie Horton rape case) and then John McCain, so we have the Swift Boat snipers acting on behalf of the Rambo White House to gun down Kerry's heroism and show him to be unfit for command.

Maureen Dowd in the New York Times describes the big lie tactic of the bottom-feeders well:

"Just as the Bush campaign dragged out fringe veteran surrogates in South Carolina to slime the former P.O.W.[john McCain] for being antiveteran, now the stomach-turning Swift boat attackers are sliming a war hero as a war criminal....the Bush crew is shamelessly doing to Mr. Kerry what it once did to Mr. McCain: suggesting that the decorated Vietnam vet has snakes in his head and a temperament problem. "

As Paul Krugman acidly observes in the New Tork Times:

"One of the wonders of recent American politics has been the ability of Mr. Bush and his supporters to wrap their partisanship in the flag. Through innuendo and direct attacks by surrogates, men who assiduously avoided service in Vietnam, like Dick Cheney (five deferments), John Ashcroft (seven deferments) and George Bush (a comfy spot in the National Guard, and a mysterious gap in his records), have questioned the patriotism of men who risked their lives and suffered for their country: John McCain, Max Cleland and now John Kerry."

This image by Stanley Martucci & Cheryl Greisbach captures the implications well:

USpolitics1.jpg The American political system allows the Rambo cowboy crowd to get away with their lies and smears. The US, it appears, thinks that lies in politics are okay and the norm in a liberal democracy.

Truth in politics is of little concern in this liberal democracy. The norm is cooked intelligence, profiteering and politicization of homeland security.

What is needed is the US liberal democratic poiltical system condemning, then regulating and punishing the abuse of free speech by the Bush campaign thugs. What is not needed is moves to restrict the use of political free speech.

If we come back to the presidential election it would appear that Though it the race is neck and neck (Kerry by a head?) Kerry's major problem is that he's not yet securing the votes of people who are unhappy with Bush's policies or the direction of the country.

Just like the ALP in Australia.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:00 PM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1)

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