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    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    Decline and fall 

    This article from the American Prospect crystallized something important for me.

    I don't hate George W. Bush. Really. But I do hate what his success says about the United States of America. In an earlier post, I mentioned a study that suggests that a disturbing number of Bush supporters are unaware of basic facts about Iraq and the view of America in the world. In addition, an overwhelming majority of them believe that Bush's positions on many international issues are exactly the opposite of what they really are.

    In the Prospect article, Jim Sleeper notes the Bush campaign's success with turning war heroes like John McCain, Max Cleland and John Kerry himself into traitorous cowards. Then he writes:

    "The republic has survived excesses like that, if barely. What really scares some of us is the foreboding that, this time, it won't outlast the swooning and the eerily disembodied cheering at those Bush revival rallies. Something has happened to enough of the American people to make some warnings by this country's own Founders leap off the page as never before.

    "As soon as King George III was gone, the Founders took one look at the American people and became obsessed with how a republic ends. History showed them it can happen not with a coup but a smile and a friendly swagger, as soon as the people tire of the burdens of self-government and can be jollied along into servitude -- or scared into it, when they've become soft enough to intimidate."

    Sleeper says that, at the time of the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers were all reading Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

    posted by Carol Towarnicky at # 2:26 PM




    TowarnickyMorris

    On the left: Carol Towarnicky, chief editorial writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, from a liberal point of view.

    On the right: Leo Morris, editorial page editor of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, from a conservative point of view.


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