Monday, September 25, 2006
Don't Believe the Truth
If there's one clear statement that can be made about America at the beginning of the 21st century, it's that a good portion of its population has, for the most part, become staggeringly adept at self-deception. Whereas at one time, we understood that there were certain inarguable truths -- facts and actualities which once proven, could not be denied by any sane person who had not gone to great lengths to prove otherwise -- it now seems as if anything is fair game for sacrifice upon the altar of public debate. Making proven reality disappear is as simple as taking an opposing position and finding the loudest bullhorn with which to shout it to the masses.
To some extent, this phenomenon could be a direct result of our culture of choice. We now live in a country and a world where 250 channels of television, 137 choices of breakfast cereal and 740 choices of beer are the norm; it would only make sense that we feel confused, restricted and possibly even infuriated by the idea that there are some things for which only one choice is correct and legitimate. It's understandable that some might fight that kind of constraint tooth and nail.
In a world where just about everything falls into the gray area of relativism, why shouldn't logic and reason do likewise?
If you're a fan of Reason Relativism, you probably believe that America has never seen a better leader than George W. Bush. There hasn't been an American President in the past fifty years who's been more willing to alter, ignore or flat-out deny factual information, if he's found it to be inconvenient or detrimental to the reality which his administration -- in its infinite wisdom -- has decided is legitimate. For the past several years -- on topics ranging from global warming, to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to the insurgency in that country and on -- when it comes to news he doesn't want to hear, our president takes essentially the same tack as a petulant five-year-old: he puts his fingers in his ears and makes noise as loudly as he can. The only difference is that it's at least somewhat expected and acceptable behavior in a five-year-old.
The reaction from those who inhabit the White House's fantasy world is likely to be the same sort as just described in the wake of the most recent National Intelligence Estimate. This study -- the result of cooperation between the nation's combined intelligence agencies -- has reached the kind of conclusion that Bush and his delusional band of cronies would no doubt do anything to make vanish. It presents fact upon fact which contradicts the administration's unsubstantiated bluster about the connection between the war in Iraq and the global threat of terrorism. Put simply, the report states unequivocally that the former is increasing the latter -- that the ongoing war in Iraq has in fact spawned a new and furious generation of Islamic radicals. According to the NIE, not only is terrorism on the rise around the world, but the Bush Administration's folly in the Middle-East has played a more direct role in fueling Islamic extremism than was attributed in recent White House documents. We are now less safe than we were before we invaded Iraq.
The reaction to expect from the White House? The usual of course.
Throughout the past several months and years, as truth upon truth has been proven and made public -- debunking the colossal myth created by this administration and turning the public against it -- our president has typically issued one response when confronted with the facts: "I disagree"; he's stated this at news conference after press meeting after photo-op. When told that reality flies in the face of the alternate universe he and his minions inhabit, his response is: "I disagree."
But some issues aren't up for disagreement or debate.
You can say you disagree that Santa Claus doesn't exist, or that the Earth is round -- it changes absolutely nothing.
A fact is a fact -- and it's time for the White House and those who still support it to realize that.