to lie, cheat, steal, torture, and murder your way to the
pinnacle of the moral high ground
By Kevin Cloyd
Since Whitewater and Troopergate, the right has been unchallenged
in their assault on the moral high ground. Clinton was scum
because of his alleged extramarital affairs and shady land
deals. Liberals were scum because of their moral relativism.
The left was scum because they did not have the moral strength
to get tough on crime. Feminists were scum because their reproductive
rights did not conform to wishes of white male religious fanatics.
Democrats were scum because they placed politics over principles.
Libertarians were scum because their championing of free speech
was a front for the pornographers. Labor unions were scum
because unions interfered with the right to work. School teachers
were scum because they wanted to use the classroom to indoctrinate
children with liberal curriculum.
Yes, the right has been able to portray its opponents as
devoid of moral character and values.
All the time that the right was trash-talking about their
opponents, they were triumphing their own great moral strength
and character. Their bosoms were filled with the spirit of
Christ. They lived lives of virtue. They acted with great
responsibility. They knew right from wrong. The President
knows "Just where I want to lead this country". By virtue
of their moral superiority, they were above the mistakes of
lesser, failed people.
When Al Gore referred to an article in The Tennessean
that said he and Tipper had been an inspiration to the author
of the novel "Love Story", the right branded him a liar even
though the article said exactly that. If being in love means
never having to say you're sorry, being morally superior means
never having to say you're wrong.
The inaccuracies of the right have been documented in books
by Joe Conason, Al Franken, Michael Moore and a host of others
ranging from academic tomes to outright comedy. Surveys have
shown that a majority of those who got their news from Fox
News were flat wrong on fact-based questions. The president
of Fox News is Roger Ailes, the republican press guru who
masterminded the Willie Horton ads in the 1988 Bush campaign.
Those who got their news from National Public Radio scored
highest on the same survey. With documentation like this,
anyone can see that there is a premeditated policy of outright
lying from the right.
Which brings us to cheating and stealing. Recent news stories
have disclosed that several highly placed conservatives have
bogus diplomas hanging on the walls of their government offices.
Nearly all those accused claimed that they didn't know that
the institutions that they had received their diplomas from
were not accredited institutions. Nothing proves the quality
of an education better than a claim of ignorance as to its
The right seems to have few qualms about outright theft
under certain circumstances. Rush Limbaugh played his theme
song "My City was Gone" by Chrissy Hynde and the Pretenders
thousands of times without ever paying one penny in royalties.
No doubt as recovering Oxycontin addict Rush felt morally
superior to Chrissy, a recovering heroin addict. Only after
a lawsuit was filed did he finally reach an agreement with
the author of the song. From the petty cheapness of using
a song without paying royalties to the plundering of the Treasury
of the United States of more than a trillion of dollars
to finance tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, the right
seems not to have any great moral problems with lining their
own pockets at the expense of others.
To the Right's quest to lie, cheat, and steal their way
to the pinnacle of the moral high ground we can now ad torture
Pundits on the right have likened the now infamous images
of prisoner abuse from Iraq as "frat pranks" and "necessary
to fight the war on terror". In homage to their calls for
more personal responsibility, the army has placed responsibility
for policies that originated with Donald Rumsfeld on seven
enlisted grunts. A handful of low level officers have received
reviews that will end their military carriers, but will not
result in any other punishment. The Generals, Rumsfeld, and
the highest civilian leaders in the Secretary of Defense's
office have carefully investigated each other and there is
no trace of any wrong doing, but to be fair, Donald Rumsfeld
has stated that he accepts "full responsibility". Presumably,
as a morally superior being, the statement of "Accepting Full
Responsibility" fulfills all responsibility. This policy will
be referred to from now on as "Catch 22 1/2".
The bodies, laying in plain sight within the walls of Abu
Ghraib prison, iced down to prevent an accurate estimate of
time of death, awaiting disposal along the side of an abandoned
road on the outskirts of Baghdad, are just ignored by the
right. Out of sight, out of mind. Funny how a prison scandal
that has dead bodies lying around on ice is called a torture
scandal. After all, it just wouldn't be fair and balanced
to call it a murder scandal.