It’s hard to be civil when political adversaries virtually keep inviting you to do the opposite.
Those of us left with the good sense to distinguish between right and wrong are going to have to come to an absolute decision about broadcasters on FOX News. They are either A), ignorant as the day is long or B), deliberately distorting reality and the facts to cater to an equally poorly informed viewer while boosting their ad ratings. The second option questions the moral turpitude of owner Rupert Murdoch and his President, Roger Ailes.
FOX has indeed the highest viewer ratings than all other cable news shows and based on some of the whoppers that have been presented to their viewing public one would have to conclude that many are absent the common sense God gave a slug. The most recent example of outlandish views being aired into the homes of many Americans is Sean Hannity’s latest absurdity in a conversation about addressing rising gas costs.
“We have every right to go in [to Iraq and Kuwait] and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for [their] liberation”, Hannity asserted at aFox News featured discussion by the Great American Panel. He feels it is only justifiable that “these sheiks, etcetera etcetera” should pay back “every American family and their soldiers that lost loved ones or have injured soldiers”
What could possibly be going through anyone’s brain to conjure up such a notion. Under false pretenses for invading Iraq in 2003 we have already lost over 4400 American service men and women, 30,000 wounded along with $3 trillion and counting. Does anyone seriously believe that we can “take all their oil and make them pay” us retribution with no further loss of American life and treasure? Good god, this is the same mentality that said the original invasion was going to be a “cake walk”.
I’m sure Hannity and many of his supporters will merely say he was venting his frustration about the reality that there is no more cheap gas. But even if this overtly emotional sentiment were true it presumes that A), increased oil supplies will reduce gas prices and B), our failure to reduce our need for petroleum has nothing to do with this crisis.
And then there’s the annoying little fact about “peak oil” (see adjacent diagram) – that reality whereby geologists have determined that either we have or very soon will reach a point where our known oil reserves around the world contain less than what growing global economies will need.
Now the legitimate argument that is at play here it that when supplies dwindle and demand remains unchanged or increases, prices will go up.. But where Hannity’s argument fails around this economic principle is that oil distribution is global and unless we nationalize oil producers we have no control over how this “retribution” oil will get distributed. Surely Hannity isn’t advocating abandoning free-market principles to keep cheap gas in his SUV and for his private plane trips.
The real insanity about re-entering combat troops in Iraq and Kuwait is that we no longer would have the support from many of the indigent population. We would literally be fighting both Sunni and Shiite forces along with giving the rest of the world reason to hate us that much more, including our supposed allies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. And a 5th grader could fathom how this militant action would provide new recruitment material for al-qaida type terrorists.
It’s mind-boggling that Hannity’s show draws over 2 million viewers routinely. We know they don’t come to watch his weaker “liberal” sidekick Alan Colmes match parries with the ultra-conservative co-host. How many of them will walk away with this notion that increasing gas prices can be staved off with another investment of human losses and tax payer funding?
Our military is already stretched to its max with it’s all-volunteer military and who could be so naive to believe that there is reserve funding to wage a more costlier war than anything our current costs for Afghanistan and Iraq have thus far indebted us for? To compensate for this we would have to re-introduce the draft and increase taxes on everyone, especially the wealthiest 2%. Again, is Hannity suggesting we break with everything he has railed against over the last few years so his fuel expenses don’t put a dent in his 5-year, $100 million dollar earnings?
For anyone who has read some of my recent comments on civil discourse lately they will know that I am trying to avoid confrontations with my conservative adversaries to promote a constructive dialogue. My comments here may come across to some of them as a failure by challenging Hannity’s sanity (oooh, I like how that rolls out) but that would be a knee-jerk reaction on their part, in my estimation.
I haven’t declared Hannity an “enemy of freedom and liberty” or dehumanized him as many on the extreme fringes do. I have merely engaged in an intellectual exercise that requires all who find offense with my comments come up with some plausible and morally defensible reason on why we should listen to someone who reneges on his expressed values when it suits his self-serving interests.