Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bush Displacement Syndrome

Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of George W. Bush?

I'm no longer a supporter of the President, except in the general terms accepted by a citizen. But the all-too-common Bush Derangement Syndrome is infuriating to the logician in me. If things keep going in the direction they are, we'll have a Council on W-like Activities holding hearings, with agents out beating the bushes to find people who may have ... *gasp* ... supported our 43rd President.

Over at Classical Values, Eric wonders why especially his liberal friends poke fun and assume he is a spokesman for all things Bush, by virtue of having voted that way in 2004:

If asked about specific issues, I'm always happy to admit what I think. So, if someone's angry about anthropogenic global warming, the war in Iraq, the FMA, or Bush's alleged simianism, I'll be glad to discuss each issue individually. I don't follow anyone's party line, though, and calling me "George" just doesn't give me enough of a clue.
People tend to self-label, and to put everyone into a little box. All Republicans are conservative Christian NRA members who drive SUVs and live in suburbs named after trees. All Democrats are liberal atheist Planned Parenthood volunteers who drive Volkswagens and live downtown in converted warehouse lofts.

In politics, there is a tendency to fall for what I call the fallacy of several choices, which is really a False Dilemma. It is assumed that the candidate for whom we vote represents our ideal choice, despite the fact that the process is designed to limit the number of choices to as close to two as possible without being zero. We often choose the lesser of two evils rather than not voting or "wasting" our vote on a write-in or third party candidate.

The fallacy of several choices manifests in two ways that I can think of right now: the mandate and the "Don't blame me" bumper sticker. The elected candidate or party assumes a "mandate" on some issue, when there were many different issues at play in the election. And once the shine comes off the winner's term in office, the bumper stickering (and cocktail party ribbing) begins, as if the losing candidate would have been the best choice after all. In all likelihood, the losing candidate would have done worse, or events would have conspired to cause any candidate to perform as badly in office.

But there is no reasoning with many people when it comes to President Bush. They are convinced he's spying on them, suborning torture, went into Iraq for personal gain, responsible for 9/11, and out to make a theocracy. Most of them are just sure he "stole" both the 2000 and 2004 elections (one by SCOTUS, one by Diebold).

It all ties in, I think, with the liberal need for the world to be a house of cards balance on a knife edge, a place full of rigid social structures and wrongs that need righted. In their mind, the universe is stuck perpetually in 1963, waiting for brave artists to speak truth to power.

And no appeal to Occam, request for evidence, or application of idiot stick will shake them from their point of view that the evil conservative power structures are keeping them down, squelching dissent. The irony of being able to tell anyone with a web browser that they are being squelched never dawns.

Dr. Sanity thinks the Bush Derangement Syndrome is displacement, hating Bush so as not to commit political incorrectness against Islamofascism. But it started during the 2000 primaries, before 9/11. It did heat up most in the summer of 2003, when the threat from Iraq was for all practical purposes gone. People didn't need Bush to protect them any more, they figured. Maybe some of them were embarrassed at wanting a strong leader after 9/11.

What will happen when President Bush is finally actually displaced? Many of them believe he will stage a coup d'etat, holding power and ruling as the dictator they think he is.

But when that dream of theirs dies, they'll find something else to fantasize about, I guess. For the lefty loonies, it's either that, or realize that it's no longer 1963.

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