Wednesday, May 23, 2007

An Article, A Reaction

Here is an article sent to me by a friend who goes to Stanford. It discusses our generation's supposed malaise towards the War.

I blame today's politicians largely for our malaise. They have failed time and again to provide sufficient motivation for our generation to be involved with or care about politics and world issues. They squabble big game only to pussyfoot their way around the capitol making deals to get their bills through (just look at how the dems have crumbled in the Iraq funding--the entire reason they got elected was to fix the war and they have completely lied down). Why should we get involved in that traffic jam of ethics, personal aspirations/agendas, and barb-wired international policy?

The days of Kennedy’s challenge to the people--"ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country"--have been replaced by our representatives whose forms of political ground-scraping rely on blame ("you don't love the country enough") and manipulation ("aren't you scared of the alternatives?"). The fact that the war in Iraq has been compartmentalized, hijacked, and clich├ęd by so many different politicians--be they hardcore patriots, raging liberals, budget designers, environmental activists, whatever--has meant that any reason to be excited or optimistic about our presence in Iraq is immediately squashed by a million more reasons to be cynical. Worse, it has become so tiresome that it has led to an isolationist mindset in our generation and others.

Lincoln rallied public support for the civil war by placing it under the banner of liberty! FDR overturned post-depression isolationism into the provision of arms and assistance to the allies that eventually saved this country from depression! Even Reagan should be acknowledged for the way he at least tried--via (maybe bogus) economic reform and optimistic rhetoric--to fix the terrible malaise in the 1970s brought about by oil prices and stagflation!

You show me a politician who can galvanize and crystallize the energy of a generation and I’ll show you a conscientious country concerned with the world, ever eager to contribute to its improvement.