It Is Yang Worship Word. You Will Not Speak It.

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This would have been a fun and possibly enlightening exercise for the president's speechwriters: Try putting together a State of the Union address without using the word freedom even once, let alone in every other sentence. "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it," the president says, by fighting for the freedom of everyone else in the world and by fighting against those who hate freedom, including the forces of radical Islam and the rulers of every nondemocratic country in the Middle East. "We seek the end of tyranny in our world," Bush says, because "the future security of America depends upon it." Hence we will "lead this world toward freedom."

I like freedom at least as much as the next guy, and I concede there is something to Bush's argument that the world tends to become safer as tyrannies give way to liberal democracies. But that does not mean that going "on the offensive" to forcibly overthrow tyrannies throughout the world will make Americans more secure, given the unintended consequences of such a crusade. In any case, it is undeniably true that Americans can be free even if Iraqis, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, and Iranians are not, so why pretend otherwise?

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  1. I like freedom at least as much as the next guy, and I concede there is something to Bush’s argument that the world tends to become safer as tyrannies give way to liberal democracies. But that does not mean that going “on the offensive” to forcibly overthrow tyrannies throughout the world will make Americans more secure, given the unintended consequences of such a crusade.

    I guess sitting around and praying to the Democracy gods will work just as well. In addition, none of those tyrannies will ever come after us, because that has never happened before in history. Nope, nothing to see here, just move along.

  2. I have this fantasy of a reporter asking Bush at one of his speeches: “What do you mean by freedom?”, or even “What do you mean by democracy?”. And then watching him stutter and hem and haw to explain how his definition of freedom is compatible with imprisoning people indefinitely without a trial (or any of the other anti-freedom actions of the Bush administration).

  3. John,
    Didn’t you say in the Oscars’ thread the following regarding Gandhi’s non-violent movement to allow self-rule in India:

    “I don’t dhex, perhaps one of the several million people who died in the civil war that broke out after the English left. Of course they are not hear to speak for themselves being dead and all. Perhaps some of the people who died as a result of not getting vacinations as a result of Ghandi’s efforts to prevent them might have something to say about that subject as well. You speak like a typical foul mouthed self hating liberal moron who has no real experience or knowledge of any culture outside your own. Yes we know the story, brown man good, white man bad and all of history is the story of the evil white man oppressing the good brown man.”

    How do you square that with your supposed championing of self-rule and democracy? I guess that doesn’t square with your belief that the only thing keeping brown people from going crazy is the noble white man taking care of him.

  4. js-

    In a free society, imprisoning people without trial is an inherent power of the Executive if the Executive concludes that the person is bad.

    If that makes no sense to you, don’t worry. Somebody will be along with the talking points shortly.

  5. Somebody will be along with the talking points shortly.

    TP’ing the blog. I just got an image of toilet paper hanging all over the place.

  6. I would love to know what percentage of readers recognize the source for your headline. I guess it’s only those of us who grew up memorizing Star Trek episodes who even remember, “The Omega Glory.” Of course, among libertarians, that might be a high percentage. 🙂

  7. David,

    How many times have you seen the Red Year?

  8. John, you seem to think “tyranny” is a new development in global politics. The fact is, you have it precisely backwards. Tyranny is fundamentally threatened by freedom, not the other way around. You can make the argument, in fact, that we are less free ever since we undertook our crusade. I make that argument quite often, as a matter of fact.

  9. Because, jacob, nobody is willing to plainly describe what is at issue here, which is how to extract the world’s most economically important mineral resource, a resource that billions of people all around the globe will not allow their governments to forgo, without either killing or enslaving by proxy the people that live atop of it. Instead we get yet more happy-talk of waving magic wands and thereby eliminating the demand for that mineral resource.

  10. Bringing Shatner out to overact the preamble would have been brilliant.

  11. We…the…people…Spoooock!

  12. David McElroy, you goddamn Comm.

  13. I wrote speech. Bush may use Yang worship words, because Kirk has shown me that our words are for all men. Even fucking Comms.

  14. I’m not normally an OCD kind of guy, but for some reason that episode really stuck in my head. For the last 30 years of my life, I have been unable to read or hear the word “freedom” without blurting out (usually under my breath, but occasionally embarrassingly loudly) “free-DOM?” like the big blond Yang guy.

    Reason #954 not to watch GWB speak on TV. Actually, it sometimes makes Hit & Run difficult to read too…

    -cab

  15. Fortunately, the leaders of our tribe still know the meaning of the words of the E Plebnista.

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