Thursday, November 22, 2007

Convictions more dangerous than lies

By Jacob Boas
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Nov 22, 2007, 01:22

If nothing else, Bush has won admiration, even from some opposed to his policies, for being a man of strong convictions, a modern-day Luther declaiming “here I stand, I can do no other.” Others, however, contend that the touted convictions are nothing more than lies.

But why not give the president the benefit of the doubt? Let us grant that he really believes that the market knows best; that global warming is a crock; that destroying embryos to save lives is wrong; that tax cuts help the poor and swell the nation’s coffers; that the more we are watched, the greater our security; that federally-administered universal health care is a plague on all houses, including those of the uninsured; that a “liberated” Iraq is the short fuse to a democratic Middle East, toppling one tyrannical Muslim regime after another, with peace between Israelis and Palestinians as icing on the cake -- the world made safe for American triumphalist values.

Let us grant the president all this and pat him on the back for having convictions. But the road to hell is paved with strong convictions. Page after page of history is a register of crimes and follies perpetrated by strong-willed leaders, blood-soaked affirmations of Nietzsche’s aphorism that “convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”

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