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How to lie, cheat, steal, torture, and murder your way to the pinnacle of the moral high ground
May 22, 2004
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 origin.

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 and murder.

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.

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