Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Why I left

If you want to see an example of why I stopped commenting at The Village Gate (or at least one of the reasons), go read the first comment to this post.

The author, Edward Batchelor of NYC, offers his thoughts and observations regarding the anti-Bush protests in NYC:
    I live in NYC and attended the protest march on Sunday. It was quite peaceful, although the anger at this regime was very palpable. Although I have not had conversations with delegates, I have watched debates between protesters and delegates (most of whom are fundamentalist 'christians'). Unfortuntaly, this segment of the American population live in a false bubble reality. They are incapable of logical, reasoned debate. You can throw volumns of facts at them and they will disregard it completely. This is most evident in the platform that was ratified by the delegates yesterday. The media have predictably not reported on the platform. If they did, the republicans attempt to portray themselves are moderate and middle of the road would be destroyed. The current platform is virulently homophobic, anti-woman, and anti-family. It seeks to make permanent the tax cuts on the lower classes and would permanently encourage the laisez-faire capitalism of the big interest oil companies and exploitative employment practices of companies such as Walmart. All...all this is done in the name of "compassionate christian conservatism."

    The reality is should the Bush regime re-elected, we will be traveling further down the road of religious fascism supporting a multi-national corporate feudal culture. Any ideas on how we stop this? I fear it is too late...this began in the late 60's under Nixon and Kissinger, continued through the Reagan era when Reagan engaged the religious fascists as foot soldiers. It is my opinion that 9/11 was the opportunity and justifnation for corporate interests to use fear and the commodification of religion to silence dissent and justify their "war on terror."

    I would love to hear comments and critiques!
Where to begin?

First, we have the standard reference to "this regime". Oy veh.

He then describes the segment of the American population which lives "in a false bubble reality. They are incapable of logical, reasoned debate. You can throw volumns of facts at them and they will disregard it completely." I think he's referring to the delegates, but it really applies more aptly to the protesters. They are, after all, the ones who support solidarity with the Iraq resistance (see the post from yesterday). They are the ones whose style of argumentation is to walk up to a counterprotester, extend their middle finger, and stand there with a smirk on their face... what a display of "logical, reasoned debate" (see this).

Then, we get to the Republican party platform, of which the mainstream media has been silent.

Apparently, Mr. Batchelor doesn't read his city's own paper, the NYTimes, because they ran a story today on the platform, entitled, "Social Conservatives Wield Influence on Platform".

He then lists the standard ad hominem mantras against the platform: virulently homophobic, anti-woman, and anti-family. Mr. Batchelor apparently has no idea what these words mean. Either that, or he has no idea what the Republican views on them are. What we have here is standard, overheated, disconnected-from-reality rhetoric and polemics. Nothing else.

And, of course, when President Bush is reelected, we will be even further propelled down the road of "religious fascism supporting a multi-national corporate feudal culture."

Wow. Wow. (Once more....) Wow.

Does Mr. Batchelor have a clue as to the nature of fascism? Obviously not. If he did, he'd know that there is no way to say that we are anywhere near a "religious fascism" in this nation. Tell me, Mr. Batchelor, are you prevented from free exercise of your religion? Has any religious practice been outlawed under Bush? Are you being compelled to attend "fundamentalist Christian" religious services? What a buch of crap.

Oh, and then we close with, " I would love to hear comments and critiques!"

Sure you would, Mr. Batchelor. But only from those who already agree with you. Because we all know that any attempt to engage you from the other side will only be met with complaints of illogic and fascism.

Last night, John McCain (with whom I have little in common) said,
    My friends, we are again met on the field of political competition with our fellow countrymen. It is more than appropriate, it is necessary that even in times of crisis we have these contests, and engage in spirited disagreement over the shape and course of our government. We have nothing to fear from each other. We are arguing over the means to better secure our freedom, and promote the general welfare. But it should remain an argument among friends who share an unshaken belief in our great cause, and in the goodness of each other. We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always. Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies.
You hear that, Mr. Batchelor?

Oh, one more thing... those "peaceful" protests? They aren't the only ones: "When marchers approached the Garden, a police detective was knocked off his scooter. He was then repeatedly kicked and punched in the head by at least one male demonstrator." (See this, too.)

I welcome real discussion with anyone. But please... don't pretend to be open to an honest, civil discourse, when it's clear that you have no interest in doing so.

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