Commenting on The Last Debate
It may not be a good sign that I'm cross-posting a comment I wrote on someone else's 'blog to my own, but I took enough time writing it that I felt it deserved a place here.
We must, in fact, finish what we've started in Iraq, or the Iraqi troops we've trained will turn out to be the next generation of Osama Bin Ladens. We must do it as quickly, efficiently, and completely as possible, to ensure, henceforth, minimal costs, both to ourselves and to the Iraqi people, in terms of both money and the more precious commodity of human life. I don't believe, though, that this is stoically supporting the mission; president shrub has repeatedly proven himself a closed-minded and wrong-headed leader in the arena of strategy (I've read numerous reports of him and his cronies shutting high-ranking Generals out of their meetings on the topic, and don't get me started on the Katrina debacle), and someone who actually possesses military intelligence needs to be put in charge of this operation. Right now, it looks like a corporate take-over that's gone horribly wrong.
Abortion and gay marriage, too, need to be made irrelevant issues, as they're PRIVATE issues and should not be legislated, but unfortunately, most of middle-America is unable to keep its nose out of other folks' business, so I'm not sure how much they can be down-played.
Ultimately, yes, what we need to show (and I can only hope it's true -- sadly, I've seen no evidence) is that the Democrats can lower taxes and retain benefits by increasing government efficiency through reform. Even were they so capable, though, I'm not sure enough of America would care for it to make a difference; the majority of registered voters who actually go out and vote seem to be too terrified that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are going to ride a nuclear warhead into their suburb of Podunk, Arkansas, where they will brainwash all the homosexuals to kidnap their children and force them to recite the Qu'ran whilst training to be hairdressers who diddle themselves with curling-irons, with which they will also, incidentally, perform late-term abortions. *sigh* I'm exhausted from that sentence, but I'm not done.
My obsession with language is merely an outward manifestation of my rage at the failure of America's educational institutions. In FAR too many cases, we allow precious details to "slide", deeming them insufficiently important to merit serious attention. If we allow spelling and grammar to deteriorate, as we have done for at least the last decade, we endorse a return to the ages of inarticulate grunting and pointing as sufficient means of communication. In my opinion, we’ve already back-slid into an era when the TRULY literate are a very limited class. Grammar is the keystone of eloquence (its foundation is vocabulary), and all of these are tools for the more effective rendering of substance. Just as an excellent public speaker does not mispronounce or misuse words or commit glaring grammatical errors, effective writers must bear the same respect for and knowledge of the tools of their craft. That's all, for now.
(If you want to read the post and the comments that provoked this entry, you can (and should) go to Andy's 'blog here.)