Luminous batshit evil…

William Gibson has a couple of just flat-out, knock-em-dead, brilliant quotes in today’s blog.

Here’s the first:
“…I am, as far as I can tell, more or less a centrist, equally repelled by either extreme of the political spectrum. Indeed, I believe that the spectrum forms a full circle, with right and left merging, as they meet at their respective extremes, into luminous batshit evil. ”

How can you not love someone who describes something as “luminous batshit evil”? And he’s completely right. Extremists are not pleasant. They’re not pleasant to talk to, to live near or to interact with on any kind of regular basis and, as Gibson points out in his own circular fashion, they’re highly didactic, which is all by itself infuriating if you have to endure too much of it. I should know. I’m prone to didacticism and it has not served me well. If I could excise that aspect of personality that leads me to want to instruct my companions rather than converse with them I’d probably have more friends, or at least more friends who choose to call me up to chat or invite me over to watch a movie now and then.

What Gibson’s on about in today’s blog is something I’ve mentioned here before. George W. Bush is not who he claims to be. He is not a Republican. That can be proved by simple observation. Republicans are allergic to what they call “big government”. They’re repelled by governmental intrusions into our personal lives. They’re disgusted by fiscal irresponsibility and they are driven by a commitment to conservatism. As William Gibson puts it, “Believing Bush is conservative in any traditional sense is like believing that a Formula One racer with the Perrier logo on its side is full of mineral water.”

And this is where we get to his other great quote of the day:
“In some more cheerful historical continuum, I could be quite happy with a decent centrist Republican as president. Indeed, from what I take to be the perspective of the extreme left, the problem with Kerry would be that he’s merely that: a decent centrist Republican. There are, in fact, decent centrist Republicans who quite rightly regard themselves as true conservatives, and it was not my intention yesterday to tell people like that to buzz off. If you’re a decent centrist Republican, or a true conservative, today, I feel for you; your party has been carjacked by some sort of radical movement, and driven right around the spectrum — people who’ve bathed their brains all too thoroughly in the White Light of the far, bad side. ”

As the missus often observes, we don’t really have two major political parties in this country. What we truly have are aspects of one party. On fundamental political points both Democrats and Republicans agree on far more than they disagree. To use just one example, both parties are strident supporters of American capitalism. You could actually call these parties oppositional parties if they disagreed fundamentally here. Say, for the sake of argument, that the Democrats advocated the end to private capital, a state planned economy and a redistribution of wealth to eliminate all economic boundaries between the classes. If that were the case they’d truly be in opposition to the Republicans. Likewise, this is not 1860 when the Democrats favored a strict Jeffersonian system of government with a weak central government with primacy in domestic affairs going to the individual states and the Republicans advocated the opposite, a strong Federalist system with most governmental authority vested in the national government in Washington D.C.

No, what we have is, oddly enough, what the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended, a single party representational government. What the GOP and the Democrats represent are really just slight differences of opinion about how to achieve the exact same goals. This is why I say that the Bush Administration is about as Republican as the Formula One car Gibson mentions is filled with sparkling refreshment. The Bush Administration advocates extremist positions that are not only at odds with the Democratic Party, they are at odds with the GOP as well.

What Senator John Kerry represents, much to the chagrin of many folks who live further out on the left wing of the political spectrum, is merely a return to centrist government. I have one friend who has been bashing Kerry as hard as the talent on Air America bash George W. Bush. This friend means well. He’s not a didactic moron, but rather someone who really embraces progressivism, and Kerry gets his goat because as far as he’s concerned, and he’s 100% right about this, John Kerry represents all the things he hates about American politics.

The problem here is one of perspective. If the Bush / Cheney ticket actually represented standard American political centrism then you might as well bash each ticket equally and tell folks to vote Nader or Cobb or even LaRouche. The problem here is that the politics and social principles promoted by Bush are far from centrist. They are, simply put, fascist.

In the second Presidential Debate, a woman from the audience asked George Bush to name three mistakes he’d made as President. He refused. Granted, he did so politely, but ultimately he was unable and unwilling to identify any mistakes he’d made, not because he has a poor memory, or from simple arrogance. This President genuinely does not believe that he is capable of making mistakes. Ron Suskind, in an article in the New York Times Magazine, refers to Dubya’s belief that he is actually a messenger of God. And as a messenger from God he believes that he is infallible. Think about that for a minute. If Bush is God’s messenger then anyone who opposes him must be… come on… you can do it… that’s right – an agent of Satan. If you disagree with this President you may be entitled to your opinion, as he’s said to several who’ve disagreed with him in the past, but you’re also a tool of the Devil. In his view those who disagree with him and his view of the world are not just wrong, they’re evil, and he views it as his mission to destroy the enemies of God.

This is not the great conservative tradition of the GOP, the party of Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt’s trust busting and social reform. I just truly hope that William Gibson, Ron Suskind and I aren’t the only people in this nation who see this administration for the extremist instrument it is.

Comments are closed.