Bear with me. It seems the rest of the world has just recently discovered that electronic voting may not save democracy from oblivion after all, that sending personal information overseas may not be a good idea, that Congress may inadvertently make most networks illegal to prevent illegal file sharing (putting Time-Warner in the uncomfortable position of either defending their media copyrights or defending AIM and AOL chatrooms), and just because President Bush can dish out the Bible verses doesn’t mean he can take it.
But today, I’d like to talk to you about the patronizing attitude the current administration has about darn near everything. It has gone far beyond for-us-or-against-us my-way-or-the-highway attitudes about everything from Social Security to condoms. Outside input is neither solicited nor desired. Public statements have stopped just short of “Now, now, these are the advisors your elected President has selected and they know best.”
Would you like examples? We can go back to Dick Cheney’s claim that he does not have to release information about those Energy Task Force meetings because of executive privilege. If you’d like something more recent, try Condi Rice refusing to publicly testify under oath about September 11. This last instance is particularly hypocritical in light of her appearance on the news TV show 60 Minutes.
The Administration is even telling Republicans what they should say about the environment on the campaign trail. And it would seem they don’t like it. After all, they are elected officials too.
If you are unfamiliar with the ideas of George Lakoff, now is as good a time as any to become acquainted. One of his central theories is that conservatives in general work on a “strict father” model. The Boss/Dad/President is in charge, he knows best, you should do what he says. You wouldn’t dream of questioning items on Dad’s credit card bill; nor should you question your leaders who say we need to spend money on the special important project of the day. If you would like to learn more about this controversial fellow and his ideas, here is his official faculty page at UC Berkeley, assorted articles and interviews, and his Amazonography.