Hi. I'm Katherine , host #2. The liberal one. I try not to froth at the mouth, and to paraphrase my mother, I don't hate Bush, I just hate the way he's acting.
I've been volunteering for the Howard Dean campaign on and off since last March, which should give an idea of both my place on the spectrum and general political geekiness. It's also probably a useful disclaimer, but I hold no rank and get no money and have no intention of turning this into the 70 bazillionth Dean blog so I don't think it will be any problem.
Like Moe, this is my first blog. I used to want to grow up to be I.F. Stone, though, so it was only a matter of time. I'm surprised to be doing it with a certified VRWC member and a moderate. There are three reasons why:
1) They asked.
2) They're smart people whom I respect a lot.
3) I can't say this concisely so I'm going to get at it with a quotation. This is from Albert Camus, my favorite non-fiction writer, from "Preface to Algerian Reports." (Camus' family was from Algeria).:
"In this way the Right abandoned the monopoly of the moral reflex to the Left, which yielded to it the monopoly of the patriotic reflex. The country suffered doubly. We could have used moralists less joyfully resigned to their country's misfortune and patriots less ready to allow torturers to claim they were acting in the name of France....
If I annoy anyone by writing this, I ask him merely to think for a moment about the divergence between the ideological reflexes. Some what their country to identify itself wholly with justice, and they are right. But is it possible to be just and free in a dead or subjugated nation? And does not absolute purity for a nation coincide with historical death? Others want the very body of their country to be defended against the whole universe if need be, and they are not wrong. But is it possible to survive as a people without doing reasonable justice to other peoples? France is dying through inability to solve this dilemma."
This is not meant as a description of, or analogy to, either the left or the right in America in 2003. It would not be accurate in general, and it would be a particularly bad description of Iraq, where if I had to guess I'd say the right had the better humanitarian argument and the left the better national security argument.*
But I think it is a danger, one that we can't afford. And it will be a greater danger if we can't talk to each other seriously.
* I know, I'm weird. And I'm referring to the pre-war debate rather than the decision to stay in or go now. We need to stay; I'm more sure of that than of my opposition to the war.