RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG
March 13, 2006
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country." --Theodore Roosevelt
Recently a number of very prominent talk show hosts were eviscerated by their faithful listeners. Some tap-danced and spun their way from the uncommon and uncomfortable, some failed ugly in vain dream quest efforts to defend the indefensible.
Those attempting to defend the indefensible Bush administration Dubai port flap were confronted with a harsh reality check. Even the most loyal and faithful of �dittoheads� eschew the gospel according to their �masters� when those masters are flat out wrong.
�Good soldier� loyalists struggling to carry the administration�s water on the UAE port controversy are finding they are doing so with a very leaky bucket.
It is moderately interesting that the same Teddy Roosevelt quote I opened this criticism of the Bush administration I have used in past criticisms of the previous Clinton administration.
To suggest that anyone who does not agree with the weak, counterintuitive arguments of the administration is just �stupid� or lacks the intelligence of their �betters� is beyond contemptible and an insult to an audience which has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to consume excrement without acquiring a taste for it. Now, apparently Rush, and Rush wannabes require that the faithful must abandon common sense, analytical thought, and comply with the gospel according to �W� notwithstanding the inherent dangers and errors. Lord have mercy on the poor misguided, disloyal fool who dares to observe �the Emperor has no clothes�.
And THIS folks is the systemic problem with the perpetual acrimonious shouting match between the �us� and the �them�.
I�ve written about this problem before [Read]
Aaron Tippet and Buddy Brock wrote �You�ve Got To Stand for Something� in which they sing, �You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything��
My mantra has been (and remains), �It�s not a question of WHO is right or wrong but WHAT is right or wrong that matters.�
Political analysis and commentary has regressed into a contact sport of polarized bitterness�it is a blood sport between left and right, liberal and conservative, democrats and republicans, �us� and �them�. It is unhealthy, disingenuous and a symptom that has become the disease.
Ronald Reagan remains the gold standard for a reason. He was rock solid and consistent because his policies were not tainted by business, professional or personal agendas. Reagan built policy and consensus on a foundation of principles. With Reagan, even those who disagreed with policy could and did respect his principles and his consistency to those principles.
This port controversy (despite the UAE having bailed) doesn�t track? Consider this:
Simply stated this �process� (because it is not an event but a process) had to have started many many months past. So how come this flap is so startling and �new� to multiple parties suffering �selective memory loss�? To the best of my knowledge we haven�t heard �Jack� from port owners, ship owners, or stevedores (or their unions)�all of whom have a significant stake in what does or doesn�t happen.
Two thousand years ago an Athenian historian (Thucycdides) said, �The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things, but was changed by them as they thought proper. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing.�
What we desperately need (like breath) is a return to common sense. Right is right and wrong is wrong, and no amount of equivocation or revisionism can or will alter the truth.
As Roosevelt said, "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country��
� 2006 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's