I can't take credit for the moniker in the Title Block, it was first used by some other progressive bloggers in describing what I think, rightfully, was the logical conclusion to all those Republican talking points that said (in so many words), "Quit bitching about Bush ordering illegal wiretaps. He only did it to protect us from those murdering terrorist who are hiding under every leaf! He had to PROTECT US!"
If you took even ten seconds to think about it, it became very clear that the crux of that argument was based on the logic of fear that goes something like this:
We're afraid of Terrorists
Please protect us President Bush
We don't care what you have to do
We don't care what laws you break
FOR GOD'S SAKE PROTECT US!
Hence, the blogosphere coined the phrase "bed-wetting wankers".
But they weren't the only ones who noticed the inherent cowardice in the argument. Al Gore saw it too and included this in his wonderful speech yesterday.
"Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."
The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.
Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.
Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars?
It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same."
I'll have to admit that his speech stirred patriotism in me that I haven't felt in years. I can honestly say that I looked upon September 11, 2001 with an entirely new perspective after that speech. Yes, as horrible as the events were, they were not apocolyptic. We survived that day and we'll most certainly survive if again if terrorists somehow find a way of attacking us again. We need to be vigilant but not scared. We need to stand up to the terrorists instead of being bed-wetting wankers who look to "Daddy" in the form of a male authoritarian figure to protect us.
Look at these words again:
"It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. "
It's time for us to stand up for our liberties. It's time for us to stand up for the Bill of Rights. In short, it's time for us to start acting like Americans again.