Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Liberals

Anwaral al-AwlakiI was making dinner and I caught the end of The Ed Show. I want to be clear: I think Ed Schultz is an idiot. He is as rigidly partisan as you find in a liberal and he’s a blowhard. And we need a lot more of him. We need liberals who can talk to regular guys. Effete intellectuals like me are what people hate about liberalism. I am a big part of why people with liberal views still call themselves conservatives!

One of the most annoying things about Schultz is his daily call-in poll. Usually, it is something stupid like, “Do you think the Republicans will start being honest brokers with the president?” And the results are almost always what you would expect: 98% say no. The 2% who say yes are probably just people like me who hate the question!

But every once in a while, Ed asks a good question. Today, it was, “Do you agree with the policy of targeted killing of American citizens?” When I heard that one, I still thought it would be overwhelmingly in the “no” direction. Wrong again, Bob! Ed’s viewers voted “yes” 75.3% of the time.


This is why we can’t have nice things. This is the Dirty Harry effect. You know it, right? The film shows Scorpio kidnap, rape, and bury alive a poor girl. Unlike in reality, there is no doubt. We know who Scorpio is; we know he is the bad guy; so we cheer when Harry blows him away in the sixth reel. But that ain’t Anwar al-Aulaqi.

I don’t know if Anwar al-Aulaqi was a “bad guy” who the government rightly murdered. I do, however, know that he was an American citizen. I do know that the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution requires that any person (not just citizens, although it seems to be interpreted that way) shall be deprived of life without due process of law. I don’t see any due process of law in the case of Anwar al-Aulaqi.

But 75% of Ed Schultz’s viewers think that the government must be right. I wonder how many of them would feel the same if Bush were still president? Because let’s face it, sooner or later, someone very much like Bush will be in power. And then it might be some cannabis grower in Colorado who is an imminent (government definition: not imminent) threat.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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