The Whole Enchilada
Peggy Noonan's latest column responds to critics of her last column. I'm glad to see her response. It gives better context to what she is trying to say. Her previous column was poorly done - not because she had a different opinion than perhaps what some expected, but because she didn't give her words context. (Here is the link to my previous post on her first column.) Part of my problem with the criticism of Bush's speech, which Noonan drives right into in her current column, is that his inaugural speech is viewed as the President's words to the world. I know - to a certain degree, that is what they are. But it is also his words to those who have voted him back into office. I get tired of having to worry what everyone else in the world thinks. I want to hear that we are going for the whole enchilada. In a way, don't we need to hear that? We are in a war, and our men and women are dying at the hands of terrorists. We see hostages taken, people begging for their lives, and their heads are found laying on their bellies. We see children blowing themselves up with a smile. Why? Because our livelihood is threatening people - and what did we do to get there? We exist. That's it! Simply because we exist, people are attackg us. And for what? Why are we letting our people die for these EVIL MONSTERS? I need to hear that we are dying for higher principles. If American blood is going to flow, it needs to be because of idealistic goals - we need to convince ourselves of that. The human psyche maintains its health by believing exaggerations and overblown self-esteem. Yep - we lie to ourselves in order to maintain a healthy mental picture of ourselves. So while I now understand - and to some degree appreciate - Ms. Noonan's reasons for disagreeing for the tone of Bush's speech, I think she needs to understand and appreciate why the American people need to hear such high-falutin' rhetoric and naive, idealistic dreams. It counters the negative, irrational fears propogated by the Left. And if it fuels the dictators and despots of the world - so be it. Bring it on, and may the best man win. Toning down his speech is not going to mean anything to those whose lives are ruled by power, cruelty, and dominance. Ms. Noonan is too rational for her own good. I've often said that people like Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura have a strategy - they are as radical as they are for a reason. People can never meet the expectations these folks espouse, but to get people to even meet half of your expectations, you have to demand it all. Like I said before, a basketball coach doesn't demand every third shot be a score just because that is all his team is capable of - he demands every shot score, in hopes that his team will make every third basket. I may be wrong - I'm willing to accept that. After all, what am I but a person with an opinion? I just don't agree with Ms. Noonan that words have that much power in today's world. A middle-of-the-road ideals and peaceful words would not have meant anything to those who wish to see us fall. There is no rationale with such people - they are heady with their vile ambitions. All we can do is maintain our morale at home - and work against those in our own country whose own rhetoric seems to be in league with our enemies. Bring on the sour cream.