How GWB Ruined America
September 13, 2010 1 Comment
So, I was sitting in the Friday discussion section for PS 201 Intro to American Government to observe the TA on Friday (he did a good job). The TA brought up the federal appeals court ruling on “state secrets” used to protect the torturers (and their facilitators). I found the resulting discussion revolting and as morally shallow as about any I’ve heard (probably, because I don’t watch Fox news). Basically, almost the entire class seemed to be in agreement that if an action “saves American lives,” it is appropriate for the government to undertake, no matter what else. [If you don't get what's wrong with this, I'm not going to waste my time explaining it to you]. When one student said, “if the government tells us they need to keep something secret to protect us, I don’t see any problem with that” there was nary any dissent. I was tempted to step out of my role as an observer and rant against the short-sighted and amoral crowd, but I realized that would accomplish little. Mostly, it left me sad, as I realized this is what 8 years of George W. Bush did to America. He gave us a world where your typical 18/19 year old simply thinks torture in service of American aims is just fine and that the government’s role is to protect Americans at any cost. I really don’t think the conversation would have been at all the same 10 years ago. And, in fact if Al Gore was president on 9/11 (as he should have been, of course), I don’t think the conversation would have been the same. Thanks, GWB, for America’s moral obtuseness.