Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The politics of the personal

I knew Burt Prelutsky as a poet for children, someone who writes charming, funny, witty little things that delight the young mind. Perhaps that work has enabled him to keep an intellectual purity that results in straightforward columns such as this one:

I keep asking myself why, in spite of the encouraging reports out of Iraq, people such as Rep. Murtha want us to beat a hasty retreat, making the same sort of shameful exit we made out of Southeast Asia three decades ago, leaving our allies to the less than tender mercies of Pol Pot and the North Vietnamese. Why do these people seem to salivate every time an American soldier is killed doing his duty, as if hoping that when some magical number -- 2,500? 3,000? -- is reached, the American people will rise up and insist that we pull out, thus guaranteeing that not only will the terrorists win, but ensuring that our young warriors will have died in vain? It can only be that they hate the president more than they love liberty, hate Bush more than they hate the Islamic butchers. Why else would they insist that on a specific date we wave the white flag, turn tail, and run? To me, the miracle is that even after a war has been waged and after all these months of terrorist attacks, the total of fatalities is still less than the number we lost on 9/11. And whereas we have nothing to show for the loss of those 3,000 lives aside from grief, 25 million Iraqis have been rescued from a bloody tyrant and have actually held a free election. A pox on those who insist that our soldiers have been sacrificed for no good reason. It’s the same reason that good people have died at Bunker Hill and Gettysburg and Iwo Jima.
I especially like how Prelutsky put in perspective the battlefield deaths we've suffered in Iraq. You cannot run a country where you raise each individual tragedy (and each death is a tragedy) to national policy. Of course, thinking about it, that's been the problem with the Democratic party for a long, long time. They focus on individual little wounds (one immigrant family's worries about being arrested, one gay man's sense of vulnerability at high school, one woman's outrage at having a co-worker call her "babe") and elevate these personal insults and feelings into global politics. Suddenly, immigration policies must be abolished, gays must marry, and women should get the same pay as men, regardless of whether they make the same career choices. It is a patently insane way to run the world.