An astonishing TV commercial this morning forces me to drop everything and prioritize my blog. I believe it was a brokerage firm that came up with this:
“ 2000 bottles of the best wine in his cellar, but this man has never lost touch with his inner meatloaf.”
Maybe it’s because we have a president who says, when addressing the troops: “The best way to fight evil is to do good. The best way to fight evil at home is to do good, the best way to fight evil abroad is to send in the military.”
The look on Bush’s face as he uttered the last few words suggests that he may have realized the danger of his words once they were out of his mouth. But of course that won’t change anything. Turkey, Israel and Pakistan will continue to be supported by our meatloaf dollars, even when they can’t figure out who’s on who’s side.
And Lou Dobbs will continue to be allowed to insult the Governor of New York by calling him Prince Elliot, even as the airwaves tremble (figuratively speaking!) from the vibrations of nooses swinging in the wind.
Some commentators will mock those who, having claimed that Communism represented a “clear and present danger”, now use the same incantatory formula to describe “Islamo fascism”.
But if you consult the constitution of the Communist Party USA as amended in July, 2001, and the injunctions of the Koran as described by the eminent European scholar Tarik Ramadan, you cannot help but notice their similarities. Both are about equity, recommending behavior that improves the quality of life of the majority, building on what may be considered the secular ten commandments: thou shall not kill, steal, commit adultery, bear false witness, or covet thy neighbor’s possessions. Although the Greeks considered slavery natural, and India still retains a caste system, in the modern world it wasn’t until the notion of the survival of the fittest brought on the political idea of “natural selection” that the Protestant work ethic turned into a justification for inequality.
We’re entering a period of increasing confusion at home and abroad, when it wil pay to keep one’s eye on the equity ball: What we continue to call “the Middle East” extends from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan, where inequality is exacerbated by the presence of foreign boots on the ground. At home, the wine drinking Democratic Party has allowed successive fears of clear and present dangers to muddle its commitment to equity, effectively echoing a famous historical figure who ended up on the guillotine, by leaving progressives to eat meatloaf.