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The Freedom to Agree with the Masses
"War is bad", I said, "there's no justification for it. The government is wrong".

"Well", she said, "if you were in Iraq, you wouldn't be allowed to disagree with the government, that's one of the reasons this war has to go ahead".

Because apparently, everybody should have the right to disagree with a government that will do as it pleases anyway. This is an interesting spin on democracy and freedom of expression. I'd make the point that you're at least able to choose which government it is you're disagreeing with, but recent history shows that even elections don't work right.

As the days go by, more and more people jump on the "I guess war is okay" bandwagon. Suits me fine, means there's less morons on my wagon.

March 12th, 2002

I wrote that back when the rest of the world was mostly coming around to the idea that the USA was taking things too far, but before most people had had the courage to come out and say it. From my point of view, whatever bandwagon I'm meant to be on right now, I started it for myself.
People see reports on the news, and they listen to opinionated morons who got on TV because they looked good in a suit and could string sentences together, and they suddenly think they know what's going on in the world. Get it straight - if you pay too much attention to the media, you'll never know what's going on in the world. CNN? You might as well be watching TRL for all the good it'll do you. Fuck the government, fuck the media, and fuck anybody who thinks they're blessed by God in going out and waging war on whoever they feel threatened by.
I guess my point is this - I'm not against America. I'm against a point of view that has been championed by America, and in actual fact applies to a large number of countries. I'm against blindly following the government and media because you're not strong enough to consider things for yourself. I'm against doing anything in the name of God when he's probably up there right now, head in his hands, wondering what the fuck he did wrong. I'm against waging war because public opinion demands it. I'm against the idea that terrorism is something new.
It's funny how much of what I wrote still applies a year on and hasn't changed one bit... I often look back at what I've written in the past and despair at how silly I was, but in this case, I can't help but continue to agree.

But the point I was getting at is that there isn't as much freedom as people think, especially in the USA. If you're Anti-Bush, you're often seen as being Anti-American, Anti-Freedom, Pro-Terrorism, and very unpatriotic. There are so many people who come out with opinions like "I don't like war, but I have to support my president" - that's self-imposed gagging.

So yeah - if you really think you're free, ask yourself whether voicing an opinion is going to damage you - if it is, then you're not free.

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If you're Anti-Bush, you're often seen as being Anti-American, Anti-Freedom, Pro-Terrorism, and very unpatriotic.

Mmmmmm.... No, I'll disagree with you on that one. Seen as being that by Bush himself, perhaps, but not by other people. While back at home, my dancing took me into the states on a very regular basis to events that brought people from all over the US. Likewise, many dance events brought Americans up to Vancouver. Politics was a fairly common topic of conversation at those events (and consistently on dance message boards), because the leftover feelings from the last election are still prevalent.

More than most elections in recent years, Bush and Gore took extreme viewpoints - at least, Bush certainly did. Bush championed extreme principles like anti-abortion, and I can't tell you how many friends I have who made their decision based on that one issue. Consistently, those who supported Gore have said that they're embarassed to be American. This war situation is having the same effect. But they don't feel anti-American in the slightest, nor do they feel unpatriotic. Many of these people are in the military, for example (including my own cousin's husband).

In fact, there is a distinct tendency for people to look at what supporting Bush means - and many of them conclude that it is "patriotism taken too far". Many of them steadfastly say, "I didn't vote for him, he's not my president." Some people who voted for Bush have expressed a regret for having voted for him. And I'm talking about real, everyday people - not people on the news, not the results of polls; these are conversations I've either participated in, or overheard.

And so, in fact, there is even a sense out there that one is unpatriotic in supporting Bush. Obviously, I can't claim to have talked to everyone, and the people I have talked with (my cousin's husband aside) do all happen to be part of one select category (swing dancers). Nonetheless, many Americans see Bush's regime as being a symbol of all that is wrong with the US, and as being unrepresentative of its principles. They see it as being patriotic for something, but not for the US.

i don't know. there is a lot of hatred towards people who are anti-war right now. i went for a walk through lower manhattan today and happened to be wearing a pin that said "NO WAR." it got me innumerable dirty looks from every quarter.

and then when i go around and decide i'm having an a-political day to try and relax, i always end up with my friends who are vehemently pro-war (ex-military and the like) who constantly putting down the anti-war protests. (they don't know i'm anti-war because i shut up about it) the best quote had to be "the protesters have a good heart, but they really don't know what the fuck they're talking about."

it's not that it makes you feel unpatriotic to have an opposing view, it's just that those people who don't think for themselves and are pro-war (not all pro-war people, by the way) look at you that way. there's a ton of it... on the radio, for instance, they were counting down the hours until the deadline. the new tagline was "KROQ: Made in the USA."

it's pretty disturbing. i guess it's all about perception and location, though.

If you're Anti-Bush, you're often seen as being Anti-American, Anti-Freedom, Pro-Terrorism, and very unpatriotic.

I've got to disagree, most of my friends can't stand Bush at all, I can only think of two that do, one whose father works in the White House, with Bush (I think), and the other who's just really conservative. Other than those two, all my friends seem to do a little Bush-bashing here and there. Though, I have to admit, that last thing you said with "very unpatriotic," well, yeah, most of my friends are that too, I think, at least I am (not patriotic, that is).

You're young though - young people tend to dislike Bush more.

As you get older, people around you get less tolerant of anti-president sentiment

Yeah, that may be true. Hopefully it changes as I get older.

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