Friday, February 27, 2004

Here's a little squib from Wednesday's El Periodico on the whooptedo over George Bush's unfortunate support of an anti-gay-marriage Constitutional amendment. Now, imagine what you'd think if this were your main source of information about the United States, as it is for almost 200,000 Catalans. The squib is by one Carlos Enrique Bayo.


The neoconservative ideology which now rules the American Administration is directing the first steps of Bush's campaign, which is trying to fire up its phalanxes of fundamentalist voters and make it clear from the beginning that no liberal wishy-washiness will be tolerated. But, above all, what he is trying to do with this plan to corrupt the Constitution with his homophobia is distract the voters from questions at which he has failed: unemployment, health, the deficit...

Note these confusions:

a) Neoconservatives, by original definition, are ex-liberals who switched over to a conservative viewpoint because of their views on defense and foreign affairs. The prime example is Irving Kristol. Neoconservatism has nothing to do with the Christian religion. In fact, many prominent neocons are Jews and "neocon" is often an anti-Semitic code word for "pro-Israeli". Neocons are often socially liberal or at least generally tolerant, which gets them criticized from the fundamentalist wing of the Republicans. I am sure than most real neocons deplore Bush's stance on a possible gay-marriage constitutional amendment, but will hold their noses over it due to their agreement with Bush on national security issues.

b) Bush certainly hasn't failed on unemployment, which is at a tolerable 6%, or on health care, since he's subsidizing prescription drugs for old folks big-time, or on the deficit, which is not in a particularly good state but is by no means out-of-control yet.

c) Nobody thinks that Bush is homophobic. He hasn't made any anti-gay statements nor has he tried to roll back gay rights. He's wrong on this issue, but he's not a hater of gays.

d) The term "phalanx" (falange) is obviously calculated to evoke memories of Franco's dictatorship, since the semi-Fascist political organization that supported Franco was called the Falange. It's a very loaded word, and its use demonstrates the user's ideology.

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