Over the past few days, I’ve been exchanging emails with the new city editor at the Boston Herald, Jules Crittenden. What started as a not so innocent attempt to let me know he was aware that I had posted John Kerry’s OP/ED that was in the Herald on Saturday, has turned into an interesting conversation ‘across the divide.’
Crittenden’s beliefs and my own are most certainly edged on the great divide, but I now find myself in the position to respond to his column yesterday, which has been inspired by our conversation via email (“and one or two others”), so I am told. A little dialogue can often go a long way, even if it is with someone who believes in the polar opposite of what you yourself believe. If there is a lesson to learn here, it’s one I’ve stressed on the Dem Daily many times in the past, people have a right to their opinions, and we can always agree to disagree. The world would be a better place if more people were able to see that — alas, in these troubled times, we see full well that is not so easy…
Jules Crittenden’s columns though well written reek of the swaggering, fear-mongering hype so prevalent from the right wing these days. In an email, I reminded Jules that we “have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” The famous quote from FDR, that Kerry used in his speech on Saturday.
In his ‘Letter accross the divide’ column yesterday, Crittenden responded:
“You deride fear-mongering. We may disagree on what constitutes fear-mongering, but we agree on this: Fear is something to be avoided or overcome, because we should not let the evil intentions of others intimidate us. Failure to recognize their malicious intent is foolish, however.”
Ah, but alas with blinders off, it is so easy to see the malicious intent of the Bush administration. No one denies that terrorism is an issue, no one denies we must strengthen our national security — but we hear a lot of rhetoric from the right-wing and see that very little is ever done. What we get instead is partisan bickering and vicious name-calling. Those who dare to stand and dissent are derided and decried. There is no civility left in politics, our nation is more divided than ever. Good men call for civility and the attacks continue.
Voters have finally woken up to the reality that the intent of the Bush administration is not to keep us safe, it is to bully and badger us into thinking they will and then as always, they fail to follow through.
Broken promise, after broken promise. Failed policy, after failed policy. How Crittenden can hype this stuff is beyond me, because yes, there “so much at stake.” But what is at stake for Republicans is the loss of faith from the voters and they will stop at nothing to hype and manipulate in attempt to win back their base.
Crittenden is quick to remind us in his column that he put his own “life on the line in this endeavor [Iraq] not least because I believe in it.” But what does he believe exactly, that he can ride rough shot into an invaded country, and take home souvenirs? So very honorable, Mr Crittenden. But looting is of course one of the lower aspects of the “nature of war and human affairs.”
Of course, as Crittenden says, difficult conversations requires patience, and I have certainly been patient with Mr Crittenden’s snarky digs at liberals and Democrats, as he attempts “to to help” myself and others across the divide “move forward in” our thinking. But here’s the rub… we have moved forward in our thinking. We see war as a last resort — not as an end all solution to “tinpot dictators” or “brass-hat dictators.” We get that diplomacy, like civil conversations across the divide can make all the difference in the world.
If a left wing blogger and right wing city editor can debate the issues, then there has to be some hope that there’s a better way to handle the strife in the world. Or, more succinctly, Crittenden’s interest in dialogue with a liberal, Kerry supporting blogger, gives the purview that the right wing is truly worried about what John Kerry has to say. As well they should be. Kerry remains a thorn in their side, and clearly, he’ll keep hammering on the issues he believes in and each time he does, more people will wake up to the “Kerry is right” factor.
Finally, I’ll remind Crittenden that tyranny comes in many forms, and tyrants exist even here in our country. Jules Crittenden may feel the need to defend ‘Clueless George,’ but I and others can still disagree with him — at least last time I checked, that was still our right.