Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is Bush EVIL?

Glenn Greenwald has an important post today on the question of whether Bush is Evil because he has cynically used the "Good vs. Evil" frame to win support for his horrendous policies or whether he actually believes it.

He appropriately calls out those who want to paint Bush with the same simplistic "Evil" brush that Bush uses against others. What those who do so fail to understand is that, by doing so, they are legitimizing Bush's own use of this model.

If we are to argue that Manichean "Good vs. Evil" is a bad frame for our foreign policy (or any other policy for that matter) than we shoot ourselves in the foot if we, at the same time, adopt a similar black-n-white approach to Bush and his cronies.

I agree with Glenn that the question of Bush's own personal beliefs are irrelevant. If he really believes we are in a titanic battle of "Good vs. Evil" or whether he just uses it as a convenient talking point to scare people into supporting his policies, the end result is the same: the encouragement of a naive, simplistic view of the world that leaves us more vulnerable to the true evils (small e) of the world.

Besides, it is my personal belief that, even if the "Good vs. Evil" frame was adopted opportunistically, the repeated application of the frame will seep back into the mindset of those who promote it. In other words, the more you push the Koolaid the more the Koolaid starts to look good to you. So, even if Bush didn't start out believing in all his talk of "Good vs. Evil", he probably does now.

It may be the only thing that comforts him in the face of overwhelming public disapproval.


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