The War on Ambiguity
From a note I jotted to myself, titled “Argument Against Empire”
In a world without borders our power can always go somewhere else:
Offshore tax havens
The Silicon Valley of Bangalore
And it comes from somewhere else:
Our mobility comes from foreign oil
Our military superiority comes from advanced research and technology and our intellectual freedom.
Our riches come from the self-interest of capital, which is driven by pragmatic opportunism before national allegiance.
We have no monopoly on these.
In the end we are left with our constitutional traditions
Our republican system of distributed political power
Democracy is an insurance policy against the excesses of abusive government
We can feed our nation without difficulty
And we are secured by two great oceans and two great friendly neighbors
But in a mobile world we are vulnerable to airplanes and anthrax.
We are vulnerable to pandemics and poor public health and food safety systems.
We die more commonly in car crashes, of obesity and diabetes.
We die of cancers from cigarettes.
We die of consumerism.
What I was thinking here, is that the “War on Terror” is misplaced. Terrorism is just one threat of many against which we must remain vigilant. I don’t think that George Bush is a vigilant man. He was caught unprepared on September 11, 2001, and he has been trying to answer for that ever since. I’d rather vote for somebody who is more on the ball, and has a more holistic understanding of what our nation needs. But we get the leaders we deserve. Each of us needs to keep an eye on the world around ourselves, and do what we can to push things in the right directions.