Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

All matters of state are fair as "political issues" in election campaigns---even (especially) Benghazi.

   In the debates between the candidates for POTUS, some people claimed the deaths of American foreign service personnel, most notably the Ambassador, was not something of which political issue should be made. The notion was the situation was somehow above politics.

   "Political" is defined as "pertaining to or dealing with the science or art of politics."  The American College Dictionary, 1962 ed. "Politics" is defined as "the science or art of political government." Id.  "Government" is defined as "the authoritative direction and restraint exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, etc.; political rule and administration." Id.

   That source is dated 1962, but (1) the definitions, though circular to some degree, are not obsolete, and (2) that dictionary was published by Random House, the publisher of the 2001 edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.

   All matters of state—and by "state" I mean the sovereign authority, be it the Federal government or the governments of the 46 states and four commonwealths—are inherently political. As such, those matters properly may be discussed in political campaigns. There is no time more appropriate for their discussion.

   In 2001, people gave President George W. Bush a "pass" because 9/11 was a tragedy of such great dimensions, people felt the need to pull together to face the crisis.

   "Pull together" meant not to oppose draconian measures passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Bush that included the so-called Patriot Act. "Pull together" meant not to question governmental authority. "Pull together" meant to believe the various lies delivered by politicians of both—really there only is one—political parties to invade Iraq. "Pull together" meant to allow a lot of people to be killed with no investigation of incompetence on the part of those who were supposed to be "on watch."

   From what I have read, the incident in Benghazi is not one that should weigh as a factor against President Obama’s re-election. Congress had cut funds for embassy security. By some reports, President Obama had acted appropriately. Others claim President Obama ignored signs that security should have been beefed up in an obviously volatile place.

   My point here is that the issue—regardless of how one views it—is appropriately "political" and fair game for discussion in an election campaign. Issues that might not be appropriate are matters of politicians' personal lives that do not affect the maner in which the politician conducts himself or herself in execution of the duties of that person's office. The alternative is to ignore the important matters if they can be lifted to the altar of "above the political." How the country is run is not "above" consideration.

   On a different note:

   This Saturday’s show will feature guests Jon Easter, Matt Stone, and Jeff Cox as we discuss predictions for the upcoming general elections. We will stream "live" on Saturday, so tune in to "Civil Discourse Now" on your laptop or desktop and watch at 11 on November 3.     

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