Here are a couple of links to short but interesting blog posts:

Mudge from Balderdash writes about bogeymen:

The early fears of the cold war, right after the Soviets acquired atomic weapons, and in the era of the “hordes” of Chinese crossing the border in Korea, were hysterical.  The hysterics led to McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee.  It led to personal bomb shelters in the early sixties.  […]  Gradually, although the Soviets remained rather belligerent, the hysteria subsided.

The post-9/11 era is similar.  The hysteria is, as largely in the 50s, Republican generated and it is greedily ingested by those unfamiliar with cognitive procedures.  The enemy is now the great undifferentiated bulk that is Islam.  And how inconvenient it is that the bogeyman is not a singular horror, but a mixture of Arab, Pakistani, Irani, Turkish (who, of course, get a pass) and (let’s not forget the largest Islamic nation) Indonesian nationalities that practice two, historically incompatible forms of Islam.  As a result, rather than focusing on the small, radical Wahabi sect exemplified by Osama bin Laden, which is too small to generate an appropriate hysterical response, the Bushies have expanded it to all of Islam, most of which is not radicalized against Western civilization. 

And he also talks about the concept of “The Great Wall Of Intellect“, that people — well, okay, he names George W. Bush, but it applies equally to many others — can put their ideas and thoughts behind a wall, proof against any external influences.

I’m not sure that actually applies to Dubyah. He seems to be awfully incurious about, well, everything, but as President he has to have opinions on many things. Unfortunately, he’s ended up surrounded by neo-cons, despite not being one himself. (Or at least, he didn’t start off as one.) Dick Cheney in particular has been known as “the Co-President” for the extraordinary level of influence he’s had in getting Dubyah to swallow Dick’s opinions whole.

Regardless of where the Junior President is getting his ideas from, he’s certainly open to external influence: anybody who flipflops as often as he does can’t be entirely closed-minded.

Just think, if not for Karl Rove and the neo-cons, Dubyah could have been known for nothing more than being the Party President, spending most of his time on holiday at his ranch or entertaining friends in the Whitehouse. Somehow I doubt that the country would be worse off after eight years of inattention.

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