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Some Impressions on the War on Terrorism

Listening to the good, heart-felt discussion about diversity and affirmative action it's apparent that the old progressive era is gone for good. An idea thirty years in the harness can not be sold as either an ideal or a solution. But, generally, the problem for all those who want strong, active domestic programs is two-fold. One is the condition of the current economy. And the second is the "war on terrorism." Now, politics may be able to slice and dice an issue and wrangle about what sort of war it is; whether it is a war, who's lying and who's got the hidden agenda, and who is naive, etc. Certainly, that belongs to the crude art of politics. However, it is experienced as a crisis as long as people have an image of the planes flying into the buildings and a knowledge that progress implies evil as well as good. We know that the weapons will get nastier, more efficient, more portable in the future. The question is, "will the U.S. be a target?" A question raised at this level activates that survival instinct that seems so lacking in a big, fat, comfortable or comfort-seeking culture like this one. And so the sort of ambience that created the progressive era of the 60's and 70's is quite gone and will not return for quite awhile. Neither Donohue nor Gore can save liberalism. Even the best liberal among us, the good Bill Moyers, can't do it. It's got to fold-in, go back to the very basics, build up very humbly and then meet the crisis that will test the nation in the next few decades.

Fears will paralyze the ability to build a future. We would like the fears expelled so we can walk with a good, sober-mindedness and not let the fears influence the great decisions ahead.

The question that can be addressed and will be, certainly for the 2004 election, is, "can the US create goodwill again?"

On that question we could muse about many things.

Posted June 20, 2003

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David Eide
copyright 2003
March 27, 2003