Initially I was very suspicious of everything that was going on. I detested the sudden need to put a flag on everything
, despite my own conservativism and patriotism, I didn't like seeing it dilute to the point where it had no meaning.
But something happened, and I feel like I let my opinions get salami-sliced away. It broke my head to be walking around london and see "I (planed) NY" t-shirts, even if I felt a certain intellectual understanding for why someone would wear that so soon after, and before things started getting really stupid. At the time, I could feel it turning into an us vs them kind of think, and the "us" seemed at least semi-rational and the "them" seemed so bonkers, that I kind of just slid into passivity. I took my tax rebates, and ran with it.
Going after the Taliban, well, that seemed sensible at the time but in retrospect I don't think that was the right choice. Reading Soros
was an eye opener, in some ways- that the urge to intervene itself is tempting but dangerous, and that the idea of a "policeman" is somewhat mythical even as it seems necessary, in a Kantian sense.
Toward the end, there, I found myself saying things like "Bush really can't be that stupid". It's not that I now think that he was stupid- I think the characterization is unhelpful toward actually driving at a root-cause analysis. It's that I always felt somehow that there must be some hidden knowledge that the powers that be might have that makes it make more sense, but now feel that buying into what is essentially a gnostic argument is a terrible error in any form.