Thursday, January 23, 2003

(Reasonably) Good People Doing Something (To Be Determined Shortly)

If I didn't know better, I'd have to say the self proclaimed "voices of dissent" may indeed be the voices of the overwhelming majority. I base this observation entirely on the many "Say No to War with Iraq" signs seen in and around my neighborhood in Saint Paul. More and more of them are sprouting up every day, including a big one that just went up near Lexington and Summit. Granted, I happen to live in an area disproportionately populated by the employees of government: bureaucratic apparatchiks, teachers, professors, lawyers, and social workers with wealthy yet overly indulgent husbands (who really should know better). These types are defiantly verbose about their negative feelings toward the upcoming war. I suspect it's because they feel the increased levels of funding necessary for national defense will cut into the double digit rates of growth they assume their budgets and salaries are entitled to over the next 25 years.

But whatever the reasons, their naïve preference for morale sapping agitprop are making my beautiful little neighborhood look like some radical, Leftist cesspool. Something like Left Bank Paris circa 1953. Or Berkeley during the 1960's. Or worse yet, like South Minneapolis today.

As we all know, these folks are not in the majority. In fact, I'd surmise the percentage of the population consciously willing to appease those that threaten us and to peremptorily surrender to fascism and terrorism make up less than 10% of the general population (and certainly no more than 49.9% of those in my neighborhood). Yet because of their unchallenged presence in the marketplace of yard sign-related editorial discourse, these people have gone a long way already in creating the impression that a massive movement of dissent is bubbling just beneath the surface of middle America. And if good people do nothing in the face of this devilishness - we all know what the cliché tells us. (If not, click here.)

But, my perusal of the Internet tells me there really isn’t an effective slogan response available for right thinking Americans to rally around. Nothing that captures the essence of the challenge ahead of us, while at the same time being pithy and biting in the face of our yapping critics.

This gaping void in the marketplace has piqued my interest, and as such I’ve been in contact with a group of local scholars of political rhetoric and masters in the sophisticated art of persuasion (and by coincidence, all are members of the Fraters Libertas editorial board). I’ve asked them to come up with just the right slogan to respond to this assault on our sensibilities. They've been in conference all day today. So far nothing concrete has emerged. There are some vague indications of creative progress. For example, one chap, who also is a particularly brutal adherent of Machiavelli, suggested a parody of the Wellstone campaign signs, a sign that would use the same white lettering on forest green background, but with the word "Gravestone!" superimposed over the ghostly image of Saddam Hussein’s face. I of course condemned that idea as hateful, tasteless, and just plain wrong. Then I doubled his salary. And with this extra boost of capitalist incentive I’m convinced we'll have something ready for public consumption shortly. Developing...

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