Historians of early 21st century American politics will remark the degree to which radical forces, usually called neoconservatives, perverted language as recommended by the National Socialist Party in 1930s Germany. Continue to demonize liberals, blame them for all social and economic problems, and soon enough no one will be willing to admit to being a liberal. Claim that liberals and Democrats are too soft to combat terrorists and soon enough a majority, even in the oldest democracy on earth, will believe it. Open up entire electronic networks, such as Fox, and chains of radio stations, such as Clear Channel, and buy enough newspaper chains, and make all these media available to pre-programmed neoconservative ditto heads, and sure enough a subculture will emerge which distrusts its own government and believes that an entire political party is not to be trusted.
This has all happened before. And where it has happened, authoritarian government emerges.
Worst of all, a formerly "maverick" Republican, one who was sensible enough to understand the dangerous perversions involved in this radicalization of American politics, will find himself repeating the idiotic mantra that we are "fighting al Qaeda in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here."
John McCain knows better. I know he knows better. But it is appalling when a serious patriot like McCain is forced to fall into line with these radical perverters of language, one of the most dangerous things that can happen in a democracy, in order to lead a party that is so far off the mainstream rails that it will take decades to return to civility and normality.
If John McCain seriously believes we are at war with al Qaeda in Iraq, that alone is such a serious error in judgment as to rank him with George W. Bush at his worst and therefore disqualify him from any chance to govern this country.
John McCain is intelligent enough to know that our tragically flawed invasion of Iraq has indeed kicked open a hornets nest, a 1300 year old hornets nest of violent rivalry inside Islam, and that for us to put all the hornets back in the nest will take decades and trillions of dollars, that it will assure the decline of the American republic, and that it will represent a grasp at empire that would cause all of our founders to revolve in their graves.
Why then would he, a combat veteran, a courageous prisoner of war, permit himself to be captive to the perverters of language? Does he want to be president so badly that he will join that band of radicals who have seriously damaged American democracy, who have tortured and lied, who have twisted our very Constitution so wrongly that it is hardly recognizable?
I refuse to believe it. It is not the John McCain I have known for 30 years.
John McCain can redeem himself and redeem the soul of his party by admitting once and for all that what is flawed about Iraq is not our military strategy, not our lack of will, not our failure of national commitment. It is that we chose the wrong war at the wrong time with the wrong enemy. John McCain's problem is not al Qaeda. His problem is George W. Bush and the people he chose to advise him.
We will pay for their arrogance for years to come. Our 35,000 casualties are paying with their lives and their futures.