Wednesday, July 23, 2008
An Abject Lesson
This essay is entitled an abject lesson for a very good reason; the abject is situated outside the symbolic order, being forced to face it is an inherently traumatic experience. For example, upon being faced with a corpse, a person would be most likely repulsed because he or she is forced to face an object which is violently cast out of the cultural world, having once been a subject. What has triggered this discourse is a quote from Gen. David Petraeus this week. He was asked by one of the media flock accompanying Obama on his mid east trip "Why aren't there more Democrats in the military?" Petraeus replied with a sly grin "There are more than you think." Reading this made my mind flash back to the 2002-2004 time frame during which time there was nary a person to be found who would admit to being against the war, or express alarm or concern about what was being done by our government in violation of our Constitution. Now that the cards are on the table, although most of them are not yet face up, with regard to the past few years, it does become an abject lesson for all American citizens to realize just how important the principles set forth in that Constitution must be restored if America is to regain its role as the moral barometer of the world's societies. The willingness of nearly the entire collective of our citizenry to keep quiet about the steady erosion of our system of values during this past few years offers the best case in point. Perhaps the most basic of our fundamental rights under our system of government is freedom of speech and expression. It is at all times utterly and distinctly American to stand up and be heard upon topics of importance to the preservation of our system of government. Yet in the first few years of this war, our 'leaders' characterized such efforts as unpatriotic, unAmerican and traitorous. Disssent is healthy and vitally important. The stifling of dissent is unpatriotic. The abject lesson here is to observe the near destruction of this fundamental principle under the guise of a phony 'war on terror' such as to turn our country into the equivalent of a banana republic.