Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Cynicism isn't a barrier

E.J. Dionne in today's Washington Post:

"...the greatest barrier to Bush's success in his second term is the intense cynicism he has inspired about his motives. This cynicism affects the near majority that voted against him at home but also a vast number of citizens in nations around the world that were once American allies.
Bush supporters see this cynicism as mean-spirited. In fact, it is the bitter fruit of bitter experience."

As I've argued many times before, cynicism isn't a bad thing. It's necessary to the process - the people, their motives, their ideas all should be subject to intense scrutiny and approached with doubt until proven otherwise.

One of the things that bothers me most about this administration and its supporters is precisely the idea that view cynicism as "mean-spirited". The administrator is arrogant enough to treat it as an affront to their authority. They don't present ideas - they present crisis scenarios, and get people all worked up that they throw critical examination out the window.

Convince me! Show me something - I believed there was WMD in Iraq, in the face of other evidence (of course I was wrong). If it's in Syria - prove it - show me evidence, don't just put on a show about the danger of Syria. The same thing holds true for Social Security.

This is the most frustrating thing about Bush supporters and why half of this country and most of the world view them as stupid. They're not dumb, just gullible. They spend so much time trying to discredit Democrats (and there's a lot of crazy stuff that comes out of their mouths, so it's not that hard) instead of trying to validate their position. Never a bad word, never a negative assessment, never a good, hard examination. Everything that's bad is lies from the media or homosexuals or "America-haters". They swallow it down, and that attitude, that loss of cynicism and scepticism is what gets nations into trouble.

Where is the evidence of rampant lesbianism in Oklahoma high schools? Where is the evidence of WMD transport to Syria? Where is the evidence that private accounts will fix solvency issues? We don't hear it - just attacks on critics. Validate a position in the face of cynicism, take action, and THEN you are a success.


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