“Given to action more than words. That’s the way John lives.”
That’s what Kansas Senator Sam Brownback said about John McCain at the Republican National Convention – and he meant it as a compliment.
Think about Brownback’s statement in historical context. George W. Bush has led our nation with a preference for action over words. We’ve had war instead of diplomacy, secrecy instead of open government. We’ve had the White House warning Americans that they had best “watch what they say”. That approach has not served us well.
The Republicans don’t seem to understand that America’s problems have come from too much action without enough words. Sam Brownback’s own words suggest that the Republicans really believe that everything would be better if we’d all follow George W. Bush’s approach to life: Less talking.
If that’s the case, then it’s not a coincidence that Sarah Palin has come out of nowhere to become the Republican vice presidential candidate on a platform of banning library books and refusing to talk to reporters without a script.
The Republican Party is campaigning on an anti-word platform. The Republicans are against words because words have to be placed together into a logical structure in order to make sense. If a person doesn’t have the ability to think, then that person cannot use words effectively.
At its heart, the Republican fear of words amounts to an opposition to thinking itself. Whereas progressives seek to fund education, Republicans try to defund and dismantle education. Whereas progressives regard libraries and books as great community resources containing the ideas that help to hold civilization together, Republicans think of libraries and the books they contain as sources of moral corruption.
Words are what separate us from the other animals of Planet Earth. When Republicans show a distrust of words, they reveal a distrust for humanity itself. They would prefer a more grunting approach, of action through instinct rather than through reason.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to abandon thousands of years of the growth of literacy. We can choose to build upon the achievements of civilization rather than dismantling them.
Support humanity. Vote against McCain-Palin 2008.