Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Which Preschoolers Go?

You're walking down the street one day when shots ring out at a nearby preschool. You rush in and find two guys standing in there with preschool students as hostages: John McCain and Barack Obama.

Immediately, they turn their guns on you.

"Oh, tough guy, eh? Come in here to save the kids, eh? Think you're a real bruiser, eh?"

"Err, not really, John...well, I heard shots...I guess it would be nice if I could save them."

"Heehee, lookit John, he's scared! Whadda ya think we should do with him, huh? Whadda ya think we should do?"

"Mr. Obama, please, you don't have to do this."

"Ooh, I got it!" *Barack walks over and puts the gun against the head of the nearest preschooler.* "You can decide who's gonna die, tough guy! How about these kids?" *Barack waves his gun at the nearest three children.* "Want them to die?"

*McCain grabs another group of kids.* "Ha! You want them to die? Well, maybe you want THESE kids to die instead!" *McCain waves his gun at the five kids he has before him.*

"Who's it gonna be, tough guy? Who's it gonna be?"

...

So--who are you going to vote for? The difference here is that only 3 innocent children will die if you go with Obama, rather than thousands.

The difference also is that you have no choice. In the situation above, you have to choose between either Obama or McCain, or else both of them will kill the children. You have no choice except to pick one.

Obama/McCain is like the Green Goblin in the first recent Spiderman movie. They dangle McCain's 100 year Iraq War and greater likelihood of nuclear apocalypse off one side of the bridge, and Barack's slightly lesser likelihood of nuclear apocalypse and increased killing in Pakistan and Afghanistan off the other.

But you don't have to pick one of them. This isn't Spiderman; this isn't preschool hostages. You can refuse to play either of their terrible games. You can resist them.

Most of all, you have the power to give up the deception that Barack Obama is a hero because he might murder fewer innocent people.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Sigh...How, exactly, am I supposed to 'resist them'? I pointed out in my last comment how not voting for Obama means McCain is more likely to win.

Not to mention that you have still not outlined a foreign policy plan that would be better than Obama's - if you have one, I'd love to hear it. However, if you are unable to provide actionable alternatives that save more lives, then you're just being silly.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing I can do that would prevent McCain or Obama from becoming president (at least, nothing I can do that doesn't involve killing people...). That puts us squarely in the hypothetical listed above.

However, the other obvious flaw in that analogy (and one reason why bitch phd & co now routinely ignore your posts) is that foreign policy is ... *gasp* ... complicated. What, exactly, has Obama proposed that you disagree with and *what do you suggest he advocate instead*?

For instance, having American troops in Iraq will undoubtedly result in them killing some Iraqis. But, if they all left tomorrow, what remains of the country's infrastructure would crumble and more Iraqis would die. So unless you have a plan for how to solve all the problems of repressive, theocratic, hostile regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere, Obama's plan sounds pretty reasonable to me.

BTW, my understanding of his plan (correct me if I'm wrong): Use diplomacy to attempt to solve foreign policy problems first and foremost, and *if that fails*, then use force to the degree necessary to prevent more people from dying. So yes, 'to the degree necessary' does include mercenary forces that will probably commit horrible acts. I am still A-OK with supporting a candidate who would rather see a few hundred women and children raped and killed than see hundreds of millions killed by nuclear bombs and their lingering radiation effects.