Public needs more honesty, less rhetoric from Bush |

Public needs more honesty, less rhetoric from Bush

Cathleen Krahe

In my opinion, President Bush uses linguistic bullying to make people feel submissive and gain compliance with his extremist agenda.

Most Americans support a clean environment, democracy, honesty, peace, a healthy economy and education. The Bush administration has trashed the environment, thwarted democracy, lied, caused the deaths of thousands, weakened the economy, turned a surplus into a deficit, and cut many social programs including education.

Bush’s emotionally loaded language creates fear in his audiences. People often set aside their core values because of fear. Look at how Congress gave up its right to declare war and passed the Patriot Act, and how little opposition there has been to the loss of civil liberties in the U.S. His contemptuous and intimidating statements have silenced debate on many issues since 9/11.

Such was his Nov. 6, 2001, statement, “You are either with us or against us.”

His arrogance also intimidates people when he makes statements like he did last year to the National Security Council, such as, “I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president. I don’t feel I owe anybody an explanation.”

Bush excels in the use of empty language to get people to concede issues and surrender to his plan. Broad, empty statements are difficult to oppose, and are distracting.

An example from Bush’s July 30 press conference is, “As freedom advances in the Middle East, those societies will be less likely to produce ideologies of hatred and produce recruits for terror.”

As we now know, terrorism is on the increase in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan.

Other dominating language techniques he uses are repetition and personalization, where he projects himself as the only person capable of producing results and repeats unfounded statements as if they were facts.

On July 30, he stated, “I take responsibility for making decisions on war and peace.”

Prior to invading Iraq he said, “I made up my mind,” and “Saddam has to go.”

Further statements on July 30 include, “Since I’m in charge of fighting the war on terror,” “The threat is a real threat,” and “We know that Saddam Hussein produced and possessed chemical and biological weapons and has used chemical weapons. We know that.”

Whether weapons of mass destruction are ever found, the fact remains that Iraq never used them against their neighbors or us. Ironically, the U.S. bombarded Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, including depleted uranium munitions, which will continue to maim and kill innocent people for years to come, including U.S. soldiers.

His most sinister use of language is his ability to use negative scenarios or pessimistic images of the world.

This is brought out in his July 30 remark, “The march to war is just a campaign that’s just going to march everywhere.” This statement implies an unstoppable unending state of war, which makes people feel helpless and compliant.

When asked on July 30 why he went to war, George W. replied, “in my line of work it is best to produce results.”

With respect to the facts, Mr. Bush, this voter says, “Bring ’em on.” We, the people of the U.S., deserve an honest leader who offers a positive message that empowers people and supports basic American values.

– Cathleen Krahe of Carbondale is a bacteriologist and former food and drug investigator. She also worked in the pharmaceutical industry. She is now a peace activist.

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