Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Friday, January 17, 2003
Eye on America
It's hard to crack a newspaper without hearing about some new sweeping proposal by some branch of the federal government to peek into citizens' business. Today it's news about John Poindexter's ultra-creepyInformation Awareness Office (which, appropos of nothing, has dropped the ultra-ultra creepy symbol of an eye watching the globe).
Add to that the secrecy of the President and Vice President, and John Ashcroft's bizarre policies (TIPS, remember that one?) and obfuscations, and it's not too hard to think that our government doesn't exactly trust us anymore.
Here's an idea: govern with generosity. The post-cold-war world is still new to us, and it wasn't that long ago that planes fell from the sky, so it's understandable we're a little jumpy. But in the face of adversity, people either pull together or descend into chaos. During the dark days of WWII, the Greatest Generation became the greatest when they pulled together. People took comfort by acting generously--individually and as communities.
So far, the President has asked nothing of the country, which robs us of an opportunity for community building. All these reports of snooping and detentions give rise to the worst impulses within us. As a good lefty, my suspicions of conservatives runs high--I tend to scan the paper for evidence that Republicans are up to no good (and lemme tell you, having a blog doesn't help that). But I think that's a diservice to the best impulses that all elected officials call upon when they make decisions. We all need to stand down on our distrust.