Thursday, May 12, 2005

Hypothetical Torture

Here's a hypothetical for you related to the below post.

If there was a way last year to ensure that the abuses of Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Egyptian Renditions, and all the other American abuses would stop, but that it also would have ensured Bush's re-election last year; would you have supported that at the time? And just to make things worse, that it would have ensured a real landslide; like a 60%-40% victory for the big guy. Would you have supported such a policy, assuming you were the sole decider on this?

I know, I know. Nobody likes hypotheticals like that. In this case, one of the reasons we opposed Bush is because we wanted to see that stuff stopped, and knew that Bush wouldn't stop it. And more so, we believed that holding Bush and his people accountable for such actions would help ensure that such abuses would be less likely to happen with future presidents. So one reason to oppose Bush's re-election was to stop the abuses.

But that's exactly what makes hypotheticals so much fun. Because the real world doesn't match up, and it makes it so we don't have to think about the difficult choices.

And just to clarify, for this hypothetical, we are assuming that Bush would do everything the same regarding all other matters. He'd still try to privatize Social Security, pass more tax cuts for the rich, etc. The only difference is that he would have stopped all torture and abuse, and also set the proper conditions to ensure that the torture and abuse would not have continued by rogue individuals. Essentially, his torture/abuse policy would be equal to or better than what we had imagined Kerry would have done as president. But that it would have been guaranteed under either President, rather than what we have now.

So, would you have agreed to that at the time? Which was more important: that Bush be kicked out of office, or that we guarantee that the torture and abuse stopped? I have no answer to that, and leave it for you to mull over.

No comments: