Today's New York Times Editorial highlights a trend in President Bush's speechs that makes me queasy:
In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.
This rhetorical device, that somehow anyone who doesn't agree with him is at best unpatriotic, and at worst, treasonous, is extremely dangerous and divisive. While Bush can't actually produce any of these straw men who want the U.S. to fail, he always attempts to make it seem like anyone who questions his actions or policies is anti-American.
What really frightens me, is that he might actually believe what he's saying. For if, his political opponents support terror, as he insinuates, then what's the next step?
If Mr. Bush truly believes that his political opponents want to to encourage terrorists, want the United States to fail in Iraq, and that want our soldiers to die, then why isn't he imprisoning them?
Are we a democracy or a dictatorship? Do we treasure the free exchange of ideas and differing opinions, or are those who would dare to question him going to be declared enemies of the state?