Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Election 2008: Terror, terror, everywhere

One of John McCain's staff has got himself into trouble after making comments about terrorism. Apparently another terror attack on the US "Certainly it would be a big advantage to (McCain)".

The response has been tedious in the extreme - Obama slates the aide, McCain distances himself from the aide, and the aide apologies. So far, so good. You could argue the aide is right in his analysis - well, maybe, but you do have to admit it was a pretty dumb fucking thing to say. But the even more worrying comment for me came in that aide's follow-up:

"I recognise that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration." (My emphasis).
Seriously, you what, now? Security is more important than anything else, in the world, ever? That's just pigging stupid. Security is (and must) be a key consideration, but in conjunction with other things. Like, you know, freedom. After all, if we all lived in bomb proof bubbles in concrete shelters we'd be pretty fucking secure - although the quality of live would be absolutely shocking. There is a trade off between security and other considerations; security cannot be placed before any other consideration.

Plus, other considerations will increase security, as insane as that might sound to paranoid politicians everywhere. But it is true. A strong economy means more contentment which is turns means a lesser chance of people being radicalised and therefore increases security. Likewise, health is another key consideration - it doesn't matter how secure I am if my body is consumed by rancid cancer.

This mindless veneration of security is a major problem today. It leads to crap policies like the Patriot Act, like 42 days detention. The only way to guarantee security absolutely is via totalitarianism, and make no mistake about it - that is where the priorities of McCain et al will lead.

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