Monday, July 16, 2007

Politics -vs- Passion

I was doing some thinking this morning while driving in to work and listening to Senator Lindsay Graham debate Senator Jim Webb on yesterday's "Meet The Press" (I download and listen to the podcast version). They were talking about -- what else -- the Iraq war. And it was the typical debate: a Democrat insisting that the troops be brought home while the Republican emphasizes the recent successes with the troop surge and puts his faith in General Petraeus' leadership, calling for us to wait until the September progress report before calling for redeployment.

It occurred to me that there are basically two sides to this issue: those who want to quit versus those who want to win. Or, basically, Politics -vs- Passion.

This is how I see it.

Those who want to win have a Passion for Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, and for sharing those with others. They have a Passion for Victory. They have a Passion for finishing what they started. They have absolutely nothing to gain from standing up in favor of continued action in Iraq. It is a somewhat unpopular position, and many politicians are actually taking such a firm stance in favor of it (a la John McCain) that they are potentially risking their political careers. There really is nothing to gain from standing up in favor of the war. Even in the end, when we finally vanquish Iraq of the insurgency and they become a strong Democracy, war is still unpopular. We will still have sacrificed an as-yet-unknown number of American lives and billions and billions of dollars. So what if you win? Look at the cost. Does the end really justify the means? I think so, but many don't, and even after it has ended in Victory, those who have supported the war will have paid a price (political disfavor), as well. For their Passion.

Those who want to quit, on the other hand, have a lot to gain from their position. It is currently considered (by many) to be politically correct, politically smart, politically expedient to stand up in opposition to continued actions in Iraq. Americans want to hear about saving lives, not sacrificing them. Americans want to hear about reducing the deficit, not spending billions of dollars on war in a far away land. Many misguided Americans are unable to visualize just what the world would be like with a failed Democracy in Iraq. They think it's not their problem. Let Iraq deal with it. So for those politicians who want to quit, they have much to gain by wanting to bring our troops home, and nothing to lose. They gain the support and votes of Americans who may have become disillusioned with the war (and if you believe the polls, that can be a lot of votes). They don't lose a thing, because even if they bring troops home and Iraq erupts in turmoil, they have saved American lives and money. And, they can blame the war on President Bush.

See, the Democrats (and I'm speaking in general terms about the party, not specifically about each and every individual Democrat politician) have no ownership of this war because they refuse to accept ownership. They refuse to accept ownership because as long as they keep this labeled as Bush's war, they can't lose. If the war fails, it was Bush's fault. If the war succeeds, they can still talk about the lives and money spent on that success, and blame those sacrifices on President Bush. And if they bring troops home early, then can brag about saving lives and money while blaming any negative impact on the President, saying it never would have happened if we hadn't gone to war in the first place.

So where do you line up?

Do you support those who have a Passion for Liberty, who have nothing personally to gain from supporting the war? Those who must be supporting it for unselfish reasons?

Or do you support those who are opposed to the war and support immediate (or any scheduled) redeployment? Those who clearly are only opposed for political reasons?

You can sum up the two stances with two words. Politics -vs- Passion. Or two different words. Politics -vs- American. Because that's what we're really fighting for, isn't it? To share the beautiful American way of life (Liberty, Democracy, Freedom) with others. Either you choose the Spirit of the True American and support the cause of Liberty, or you choose the way of the true politician and support the cause of campaigning for votes. Only one way is right. The other is wrong. Look at the big picture. You must choose.

God help you to make the right choice.


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