I think he’s got a good point. Pay attention to what life is like in and around Israel these days. Because George Bush is absolutely following in Ariel Sharon’s footsteps. That’s our future as a nation we’re looking at, the logical end of countering force with more force, random violence against innocents with still more random violence against innocents, death with more death.
We need another way. We need to find a path to a world where differences with our neighbors don’t have to be capital offenses. I know that the right-wing types, especially those who have had their values systematically dismantled and re-assembled as part of their service in the military, will dismiss such talk as hopelessly naive. I understand where they’re coming from. They’re absolutely right — from a certain point of view.
But so am I, from a different point of view. We need a new, larger frame of reference that encompasses both truths. Resolving this ambiguity, the ambiguity between short-term realism and long-term idealism, is our main challenge as a species right now. It will absolutely determine the kind of world our descendants live in.
We need to move beyond our current system. We need another way, a different future. We need leaders wise enough to see that future, brave enough to commit to it, and skilled enough to actually take us there.
George Bush is not that leader. I’m still not sure, in all honesty, that any of the current Democratic challengers is, either, but I know for a fact that George Bush isn’t. He’s at the opposite pole. In his lack of insight, his blunt willingness to reduce complex issues to the simplest formulations, and, especially, in the darker undercurrents of his personality that lead him to set his jaw and dish out righteous vengeance to those he too-quickly identifies as the source of his troubles, he is absolutely taking us in the wrong direction. It’s the same direction Ariel Sharon has been taking Israel for the last few years, and it’s not hard to see where it leads. It’s a downward spiral of ever-increasing violence. It’s a tunnel with no light at the end, a hole, a pit, a collective mass grave.
It’s a good place for us not to be going.