August 24, 2004
If Wishes Were Fishes, I’d Have Fishbones Stuck In My Throat
I wish that all the disgruntled leftists who want a muscular and purified third political party that was authentically radical, progressive or left could not only have their wish but have still more. I wish that that the Democratic Party would agree to provisionally step aside on behalf of this new party for one major campaign season, so that the new True Left Party could run its candidates for President and all Congressional seats against Republicans. I wish furthermore in this miraculous political season that this same party could have total authority over all news broadcasts and major cultural outlets for a period of one year preceding the election. Just to eliminate the usual carping about the mass media. Just so we could see what would happen, just so the ensuing political disaster might actually buy us some peace from the pseudo-Naderite fringes.
I wish that the rigorous new standard for truthfulness and empirical rigor proposed by some conservative sages (because we all know the right-wing has philosophical chops that all other political factions are lacking) be generally accepted. The new standard, best enunciated by the famous Instapundit, is that anyone who makes one evidentiary claim that is true, no matter how trivial, all things they say are either true or worth taking seriously. Kerry was in Cambodia in February, not December! Hence all other claims about his service are important and credible as well. So under the new truth regime favored by Instapundit et al, if I say that George Bush used cocaine, murdered ten rivals personally, runs a prostitution ring out of the Oval Office, receives unmarked cash in briefcases from the North Korean government, and has a vice-president named Richard Cheney, everything I say is worth taking seriously. Because one of those things is true.
I wish that all the disgruntled armchair military strategists could get their wish that the United States level Najaf and Fallujah. Utterly wipe them clean with saturation bombing, killing every male over the age of 14 who tries to leave the cities. Just so we could see what would happen next. Because otherwise, I know I’m going to be hearing from these guys forty years from now: they’re going to be sitting in little booths behind some yet-to-be-built memorial in Washington DC talking about how the politicians wouldn’t let them win the war. Pointing out to them that this war, whether you’re a supporter or a critic, was always more about political objectives than military ones, that the military objectives were the easy part, doesn’t seem to do the trick.
I wish that the Swift Boat Veterans and their various supporters would continue their crusade to re-evaluate all medals awarded to American soldiers living and dead, discarding official records authenticating those medals and reinterviewing all surviving witnesses to the actions in question. Obviously the Swift Boat gang themselves will be the first to surrender all their medals, honors and citations given the tough new standards they propose, but that would only be the beginning: most medals given in the past 90 years would obviously need revocation, and there are bodies to be moved out of Arlington as well. What’s that? They’re not proposing any such crusade? How odd.
I wish that the people now beginning the drumbeat for the invasion of Iran would get their wish. I wish we would invade Iran. Syria, too! Throw in North Korea, why not? I wish they would get their wish—as long as I could get my wish for I and my family to be in a fully equipped nanotechnology-supplied mile-long generation spaceship heading for Proxima Centauri with everyone and everything we love about the world on board with us.