Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Voices in the Wilderness . . . Thankfully

The letters section of today’s New York Times is a fiesta of foolishness.
Regarding the Democrats’ frustration that The People are not paying attention to their dire message, Jacob Remes of Boston writes under the heading “Democrats, Organize!”

“Rather than working to create a slightly more liberal news (read propaganda) source, Democrats should work on grass-roots organizing. As the key organizational Democratic constituencies, unions and grass-roots community groups have learned, organizing will not only recruit more voters, but is also an inherently empowering experience.”

Ah yes, the romance of revolution.

“Organize” used in this context is a funny word. It means more than just getting out the vote. It’s more like “raising the consciousness of the masses.”

This assumes that the people Remes wants to organize are unable to raise their own consciousnesses. What they need is a vanguard of intellectuals with already elevated consciousnesses to lead the people toward their own self-interest.

Anyone who has ever lived in an unfashionable urban neighborhood knows all too well how tiresome these “grass-roots community” organizers can be. They dominate any political discussion and turn useful community forums into indoctrination sessions. No wonder people don’t bother to vote. You have to pass through a gauntlet of activists first.

Further up the page Mark Silverman of Brooklyn is infuriated that the United States would consider using force to thwart genocidal war criminals:

“If the United States supported the International Criminal Court, we might be able to remove megalomaniacal dictators without resorting to war. But the United States, jealous of its sovereignty, would apparently prefer to wage war rather than build civilized international law-giving institutions. This is a great shame for our country and a tragedy for the planet.

Yes, but what about the children?

How exactly would the ICC remove a megalomaniacal dictator after it issues its arrest warrant? Does Silverman expect Saddam to surrender voluntarily? Will attorneys for Kim Jung Il advise him to come along quietly?

Something about these guys tells me they are not leaving this earth without taking a lot of people with them.

And oh, that demonic United States, so jealous of its sovereignty. How dare the Americans hide behind the Constitution . . . a mere scrap of paper! What is this document when compared to the future of the planet!

Actually, I think it’s the rest of the world that is jealous of our sovereignty . . . they’d like a big piece of it. And it’s the responsibility of our elected officials to guard against that . . . jealously.

Of course, if you disagree, you can always vote for a candidate who would favor the ICC. Mark Silverman meet Ralph Nader. Ralph meet Mark.

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