Monday, May 09, 2005

The Hollow Men 

Here it is, in a nutshell -- the basic problem with the Bush administration.
At an event in Holland, Bush was asked whether there would come a day when the Patriot Act was not needed any more. He said "[We] must balance the government's most important duty, which is to protect the American people from harm, with the civil liberties of our citizens."
He has said this type of thing before -- he has used this description of his job to justify every post-911 monstrosity from the Patriot Act to the preemptive strike doctrine to the Iraq War to Guatanamo.
But he is wrong. Here is the oath that each president takes as he is sworn into the presidency: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
His duty as president is not to the people but to the Constitution. It is only through his commitment to protect the Constitution that his people can also be protected.
But Bush just doesn't get it, and neither do the people around him. "Protecting the people" is the corrupt justification for illegal acts that we hear in the speeches of every tin-pot dictator from Stalin to PolPot to Idi Amin. The idea that one person is actually responsible for protecting an entire nation is romantic megalomania. It leads to the pretense that the country is surrounded by and infested with enemies who must be beaten regardless of any illegality. Without the Constitution, in fact, the very concept of illegality becomes hollow. Thus Bush turns Americans into a nation of hollowmen who promote the demonization of Muslims and pregnant women and gay people, deny the legal authority of judges, support religious zealots, and justify torture.

. . . Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men . . .

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers | 0 comments


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Email me!