Sunday, April 20, 2008

Repeating the Conversation

Whenever the conversation turns to the war in (occupation of) Iraq it tends to become heated, and it always feels like we are in a disagreement unique to our times. We are not. We have had this discussion many times; during the Cold War, during Korea, certainly (God knows) during Viet Nam, Desert Storm. We even had it before, and to some extent during, World War Two; the war generally accepted as being the last "noble" war in which we fought.

Having this discussion is a very good thing. This, in fact, is what we are all about. America is all about the freedom to have this discussion.

This discussion is democracy in action. It is what democracy is all about. If there was but a single point of view there would be no need for democracy, no need for voting booths. If there was but a single point of view dictatorship as a form of government would be quite comfortable.

I want us out of Iraq, and I feel strongly about that issue, but it is incumbent upon me as a member of a democratic society to respect and honor the position of those who differ with me.

When the people speak and the government does not act then democracy has been subverted. But that is another subject. The national discussion within the citizenry, at the level of the voters and the media, is healthy and necessary so long as we are willing to really have it and do not attempt to stifle one side of it.

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