Saturday, February 04, 2006

State Of The Propaganda address

Today, I heard the conclusion of the Bush SOTU address (which I had dilligently avoided) on the radio.

BUSH: Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause and confident of the victories to come. May God bless America.

This is not a speech: it is merely a litany of double-plus-good newspeak. Vague, glittering generalities of propaganda. This is why "politician's promises" are held in contempt: not one of these promises is concrete. Not one of these promises specifies any action by the government. And even if it did, it would probably be a lie, as so many Bush promises have been.


Glen said...

Dang, here I am agreeing with you again. How odd.

Hey, maybe this means Bush is a "uniter" after all! His devious plan must have been to unite all us hard anarcho-libertarians, all you squishy liberalish communitarians, and partisans of every other stripe. Once fiercely divided, we are all now firmly united in our mutual dislike and distrust for the Bush Administration's rhetoric and policies. At the end of the second term we'll all stride boldly forth, shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, into a bright new future of rainbows and puppies and sugar-free cotton candy.

John said...

I'm sure this has all been quite discouraging for Mike. It must be difficult to reconcile the current left-wing antipathy for Bush with the belief in a universal errancy of libertarian principles to which Huben has devoted himself for so long. For most contemporary redistributivists like Ralph Nader, this presents no real problem. Libertarians as a group have been the most viscious, vocal, and intellectually credible critics of George Bush since (and even before) his election in 2000 -- and many on the left have been happy to join hands in the condemnation when common ground was to be found.

Mike, on the other hand, is destined to wander in the empty ideological wilderness of his own making. As a student of the libertarian internet subculture, I know that the running theme of libertarian disgust for Bush is not lost on Huben. Yet, as much as he might agree, to disclose any fundamental or truly heartfelt agreements with Bush's libertarian detractors is to betray the raison d'etre of his decade-old blog. How else can one explain the absurd call to "conservatives" and "liberals" that would protect us from Bush's domestic spy programs. Michael Moore or Ralph Nader would surely never say anything so ridiculous. I imagine they would prefer to join hands (as many on the left have) with the likes of Bruce Bartlett, Andrew Sullivan, and the Cato Institute; alas, something Mike Huben can never do.