Tragic vision vs. realistic one
Dear Editor:Freedom doesn’t march; it rings, it sings, it finds expression in many ways – just not in the form of armor-jacketed soldiers subduing the world. George Bush’s rallying cry is, of course, a call to the voting faithful, but above and beyond that, it is a very real call to war, to a fight to the finish with the new enemies of “freedom.”For a man who came into the White House promising to keep us out of the world’s myriad messy regional conflicts, this is a major change of heart – a direct result of New York’s day of terror, when the world’s most intractable local conflict went horribly global. Unfortunately, our president didn’t rise to the occasion so much as force it to fit his closely held conservative, nationalistic views. The man who set out to turn the United States into a faith-based corporate utopia simply extended that mission of purification to include the whole Earth.The challenge posed by global terrorism is a serious one, but one that has the same roots as most of our human problems – good old fear and ignorance. Religious fanaticism provides a ready mental escape from the feeling of powerlessness, but does nothing to resolve any real issues or to liberate its followers. The answer to fundamentalist radicals elsewhere in the world is not to elect one of our own, but to clear away all of the Texas topsoil that’s flying around and get down to doing real work on the real problems.George Bush’s heroic vision is, finally, a tragic one – that of a man who oversteps himself and reaches for power beyond his grasp, to the ultimate sorrow of all involved. John Kerry’s vision is necessarily less exciting and far more realistic. It doesn’t promise triumphant victories and eternal glory, just the opportunity to make our own choices and speak our own minds in the ways that will make us worthy of the freedom granted to us. And that is the proper work of real heroes and heroines.Richard ComptonCarbondale
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