Re: Did America Go To War Because False Information Was Extracted By Torture?
August 6, 2004
Your e-mail is distressingly trenchant. You have enunciated so many disturbing truths about so many things.
My personal view, which I do not often mention because it sounds both so hopeless and so idealistic, is that the politics and general views of this nation are unlikely to change unless and until there is a viable third party devoted to truth above all. But to seriously hope for such a party, I am afraid, would be regarded by most people as living in a dream world.
Because your e-mail was so trenchant about so much, I am posting it on the blog along with this brief response.
All the best.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Parenti"
To: "Dean Lawrence R. Velvel"
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 4:07 PM
Subject: Re: Did America Go To War Because False Information Was Extracted By Torture?
I really hope you are right and I am wrong, but I doubt that Kerry will win the presidency. He is a remarkably unappealing candidate and has failed to connect with great sectors of the electorate. And he is surrounded by consultants who have no political instincts in regard to how to go after Bush, taking an imaginary high road,
talking about leadership and patriotism, shades of Dukakis who blew a 16 point lead
after his nomination.
As for all the Bush failures and wrongful deeds, I dont think they measure in very much at all. There is a great heartland of middle Americans who love Bush because he is Bible, anti-abortion, straight-sex marriage, pro-SUVs and guns, anti-liberal intellectual, white, male, regular guy, beef-eater, etc.
They have learned from the shock-talk radio rightwing hosts to forget the issues and class interests, and vote lifestyle and "values." Those are the only explanations they are given.
And the Democrats are not helping them much to remember the issues and their real class interests, so busy are the Dems waiving the flag and talking about the obviously empty things like Kerry the leader, and Kerry the war hero, things that the public can see through.
The Dem convention was a lost opportunity to educate the people in regard to the issues. Not one speaker explained what a deficit is, how it cuts into our tax dollars, and privatizes the budget for the benefit of rich creditors. With few exceptions, the speakers offered pablum and alluded in vague ways to nefarious Bush doings, not realizing that most Americans dont know what the hell they were talking about. (Never underestimate the level of misinformation or noninformation among the general public.)
In any case most of the Bushies are ready to forgive him anything:
--So Bush has a record deficit. So did Reagan and he got reelected by a landslide.
--So Bush is in a war and losing 9 GIs a week. Nixon was losing 120 a week and got reelected in a landslide.
--So Kerry was a war hero 30 years ago, and Bush is a draft-dodger. So was
Clinton a draft-dodger and he whipped the older Bush (a decorated war hero) and Bob Dole (a decorated war hero).
No, the remarkable thing about this campaign is the damage control effected by the predominantly reactionary media pundits and scream-show radio hosts. Bush is coming through remarkably well, and right now he is ahead of Kerry in the electoral college.
So speculations about what a Kerry presidency might or might not do are quite premature at this stage. Again, I hope I am wrong about all this. I hope you can chuckle in November and say, "Parenti, the political analyst sure called it ridiculously wrong." I will joyfully eat humble pie, and say, "Yep, that crusading law school dean got it right again."