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Mitt Romney quit the presidential race yesterday.
“In this time of war, I feel I now have to stand aside,” Romney said. “If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
Hopefully it is obvious to all that the organization of the Republicans is something to be admired. They do an incredibly good job of being coherent in their message. The concept of "conservatism" has been shaped into something easily identifiable with an action plan. It is apparent that the incentives within the Republican organization teach Mitt that his rewards are greater by towing the line than by fighting for his individual ideas or change.
The Democrats will try no doubt in the coming weeks to contain or eliminate a fractious fight. Everyone sees unity is strength. Ralph Nader's presidential campaign against Al Gore 8 years ago was literally all the nails in the coffin of his campaign. It is clear from the perspectives of Coherence of message and success in battle that unity wins.
The Democrats must absolutely learn and observe the Republicans and aspire to unity for the sake of winning. This must be done, however, from a root in the Democrat core values, and not from a desire to emulate the Republicans. Some part of the Rebublican organization has created a fundamental moral corruption in its position and this in itself cannot be overlooked in admiring their success.
The crux of Mitt's reasoning quoted above is built on a tangle of deceit, error and calculation that flies in the face of Liberal values that could and should form the foundation of a successful campaign against the Republicans. Whether by intention or happenstance a concept of Liberalism as defined by a contrast with the carefully built Conservative concepts has been given several fundamental values of what is good and right with humanity. These values must be protected, defended and promoted with care and vigor just as republicans have done with the platforms they have chosen to adopt based on strong and true core values.
It may be that success will bring about corruption in some parts of the message, in some platforms that are pursued, but at their core Liberal values of opennenss, dialog, democracy, debate, inclusiveness and a certain acceptance of the need for chaos are the winning values for humanity. They are part of the core good in all of us. The sin qua non demonstration of this is the success Democrats have had with as far as I can tell a very nearly complete failure to build a coherent organizational structure and action plan around these values.
That the Democratic campaign is focused on health plans, various disengagement plans from Iraq and the formless platitude "Change," completely misses the key contrasts with the Republicans and stands tall on shifting sands of policy and demagoguery. The emptiness and wrongheadedness of Mitt's stand, and the Republican's stand that extends from it, is so blatant and clear that to miss it and beat around on other topics is a missed tactic at least. But more fundamentally is a loss to all of us of the chance to shape the discourse for the betterment of the world.
And that points to the heart of the lie in Mitt's position and in where Republican leadership has lead us. Naming the lies is by far the greatest cause of our time and of this campaign. The truth is this: it is under George Bush that we have surrendered to terror.
That surrender has been a direct result of a careful, thoughtful and completely wrong campaign of thought built over Decades by well meaning and incredibly smart people. That campaign believes in justice and truth. It's proponents believed rightly and mightily in right and wrong, and in the moral imperative of supporting right against wrong. These beliefs must drive all of us, but not to the conclusions reached by our current leaders.
George Bush's surrender to terror begins on the lie that Saddam Hussein was part of the terror of the World Trade Center. Hillary's tactical need to support that war will forever mar her record, but that should never allow us to lose sight of the lies that have so successfully conflated Saddam to Osama that huge populations believe with Mitt that the war we are fighting in Iraq was a reasoned response to us being attacked by Osama Bin Laden. It was not. The fact that we are currently being attacked by extremists of all types is in fact a result of our Attack of Iraq, not the reverse. In following the lie that it is the reverse we surrender to and pervert our own true values in the face of terror.
Mitt's and the Republican's fear mongering is itself part of Bush's surrender. The war, and the terror, have become a requirement for their reason for being - and leading.
There is no better reason to vote against the republicans than to simply put someone in charge who does not depend on the war to justify themselves. Perpetuating such a setup when there is any moral doubt at all, not to mention completely obvious doubts, is pure lunacy.
But neither of these hit on the most fundamental misconception of Mitt's words and the Republican platform. The rock and anvil of Liberal thought where the Conservative movement is totally wrong is on the topic of the value of discourse. It is the worst lunacy of our time that the Republicans under Bush have come to believe extremism can be shot to death. That they believe islamic bred terror can be exterminated by force. There are some times in life where you must stand tall for your beliefs and sacrifice blood for them, but there is never a time when dialog is not informative and when the ideas, circumstances and thoughts of others do not matter. And this is exactly the Republican thought on the subject of Islamic terror. And it is this position that directly breeds and by breeding surrenders to terror.
Islam itself was born from the wrongheaded, fruitless and obscene attacks upon Arabs and others by the forces of Christendom. The worst in Islam is a direct result of the worst in Christendom. To take the worst of both now is a surrender of all hope of progress toward the good in each. The search for that good is a core value of Liberal thought and this value, above all else must be preserved and fought for in the face of the platforms developed by Mitt and the Republicans.