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Political Labels

Bush is beating the old conservative drum "tax and spend liberal", but his opponents have not hammered home the alternate label that is painfully accurate- "spend and deficit conservative". Negatives are easy, just as destruction is easy. We are dealing with difficult, complex problems with ten second sound bites. As a result of liberal values, the obvious attack has not been used, partially because it requires more than ten seconds of attention to state.

I noticed that Bush proclaimed to the U. N. and American people "We KNOW Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. We KNOW!", when the final report proves Bush lied because Saddam did not, as much as he wished that he still had the weapons of mass destruction given him by Reagan-Bush in the eighties. Calling the President a liar in a time of conflict, no matter how accurate, is not popular. Opposing Reagan-Bush taking Ossama and Saddam off the terrorist list was called un-American and soft on Communism. The flip side of that would be to call the President's father a traitor for giving weapons to a terrorist and later enemy of America, not a way to win friends.

"Right to Life" does not include the thousands of Iraqi we have killed. Bush claimed the Geneva Conventions applied and prohibited Saddam broadcasting the interrogation of American POWs, but the President says not to Abu Graib, something troubling to someone that remembers both. Iraqi "war criminals should be prosecuted", but not Americans that fit a similar description, and it is not called a "flip-flop". Voting to give authority to the President and opposing going to war without finishing the inspection is called a "flip-flop", but saying we do not have to stop the looting in Baghdad, and later saying we must maintain order is not.

Other labels have been so abused that "Proud American" is automatically filtered from what we hear if seeking any information. Labels do not really add any information, they only try to push some buttons, short circuiting the dangerous process of thinking.

One word can drastictly change a label, and cause problems. Kerry left a word out of one that has fallen to use as a right wing battle cry, and had he said "global credibility test", or "global integrity test", we would never have heard it again.

Even the concept of a "spend and deficit conservative" requires enough sophistication and thought to realize that the deficit will be paid, sooner or later, in one way or another, by our heirs. It is hard to refrain from saying that I thought even a "'C' student" understood that.

Copyright © 2004 Norman Montgomery ; All rights reserved.