Worlds & Time

Friday, February 29, 2008

Random Thoughts And Things I'm Reading

Here is my perfect question to be asked of Senator John McCain, in public, on film:

Senator McCain, which is more important to you, protecting the people of the United States from terrorism or upholding the ideals of the United States Constitution?

He'd have to equivocate because if he accidentally responded with a real answer to the question, either way he responded would be a huge misstep for a Republican.

Democrats have it easy. The answer is the latter, duh. Of course the ideals of the United States Constitution are more important than a few temporary minutes of security.

Republicans, however, have tried to shift away from protecting constitutional rights because after George W., that's not an argument that they can win. So McCain has repeatedly said that the most important duty of the president is to protect American citizens. ("The most important obligation of the next President is to protect Americans from the threat posed by violent extremists who despise us, our values and modernity itself. " Link) Thus, he can't give the correct answer because that undermines the argument that he himself is trying to make: that the presidency is not about upholding the constitution, it is about protecting Americans.

However, if he was to remain consistent to his previous comments and say that he'll protect Americans above upholding the Constitution, it would mean a PR disaster of truly epic proportions. Granted, some news agencies, notably Fox News, would probably ignore the answer, but you'd at least get a special comment from Keith Olbermann about how McCain has thrown out the very principles upon which our government is based.

I'd love to see someone hold him to the question though.

The best that he could do is say that he doesn't see a conflict between the two, but a real reporter should point out the obvious: McCain has deliberately created a dichotomy between safety and rights with his support of the FISA legislation and Bush Administration's wiretapping activities. And thus, that isn't an answer to the question.

There are also two more brilliant slacktivist posts that I really think are amazing: The Barrel of a Gun and The Imaginary Liberal. The second one is long, but it describes how I sometimes think I'm perceived by Christians.

Update: Also see Kevin Kelly's 1,000 True Fans, which is really interesting.

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  • This post really sums up a major political issue for me. I think when GW took over (this was the first republican in the white house I was old enough to acknowledge) it sort of opened my eyes to the fact that security and liberty can't seem to coexist. I'm so sick of TERROR! WAR ON TERROR! EXTREMISTS! RAR! THE SKY IS FALLING! I am moving to Canada where nobody's mad at anybody and we can all go to the doctor for free.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 11:37 AM  

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