August 14, 2003

Presidential candidate Kucinich and John Gilmore "suspected terrorist" button

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is this week's guest on Lessig blog. His latest entry was titled "Patriot John Gilmore (suspected terrorist)" and wrote:

We have just come to accept this as a natural state of things because, like Gilmore, we're all suspected terrorist.
It seems to me that the Bush Administration, with its moral obtuseness, [long in this vein] ... has prepared for the American people a one-way ticket of sorts. When it comes to the quality of our democracy we are traveling on a road to nowhere.

Perhaps unfortunately, I yielded to temptation just a little, and posted about:

I'm backsliding, but my sense of humor has overridden my better judgment:

By referencing the old joke:

"Liquor - if you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life and inflames sinners, then I am against it.
If you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against winter chill, the taxable portion that puts needed funds into the public coffers to comfort the under privileged, then I am for it."

I was thinking, using phrases from [Kucinich's] statements in the post:

"Security - if you mean the moral obtuseness, its inconscience on matters of civil liberties, and its craven attempts to demolish the Bill of Rights, then I am against it.
If you mean that where the traveling public deserves assurances that they and their loved ones will be safe in the air, then I am for it."

More is not worth it.

That is, it's very easy for anyone to go on about how he's against bad and for good, but this doesn't help much. I say unto you, that security forces should stop terrorists and not bother non-terrorists! Do you hear me! That's where I stand!

It's not that I'm defending the Bush administration. Rather, there's a hard problem here, and I didn't see anything at all in the post about his own solution to that problem. The information bit rate in political speeches is frustratingly low.

Completely lost in any discussion was the fact that John Gilmore wasn't suspected of being a terrorist by the airline captain because of his button. He was suspected of being a troll who would get a kick out of provoking and possibly panicking passengers about being a "Suspected Terrorist" (sigh, I said "troll", sigh, that gives him the right to trash me via moral equivalence, double sigh). That's not nearly the same thing.

Again, I have to tell myself, SIMPLE, POPULAR, DEMAGOGUERY.

I'm just not at the power level to safely get-into-it. I'm just not.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in politics | on August 14, 2003 10:57 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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