Sunday, November 20, 2005

On The Campaign Trail...

My fellow bloggers, readers and occasional commenters:

It has come to my attention that I have failed to announce my nomination for, not one, but two awards; both of which require votes from my kind friends and readers. Thus, I am compelled by gratitude for the nominations and sheer vanity to request your assistance in promoting my humble blog.

The first nomination is for a blog card from Aarons CC. I've been nominated for a card from the suit of spades, for calling a spade a spade. In this case, for looking at and talking about the dangers of Islamism, the history of Islam and the rise of Islamism and the war on terror, including Iraq. My friend Ala at Blonde Sagacity nominated me and I thank her for believing that anything I write here is worthy of an award. It's humbling to know that someone thinks I have anything of importance to say on the matter, that anyone reads this blog. I'm no where near as big or widely read as some of the other blogs up for nomination, but, I don't write the blog to become famous. Rather, I write it as the voice in me that just wants to yell out into the world once in a while, to let people know I'm here, I'm paying attention, I'm thinking and I will not go quietly without raging against the dying of the light.

The essence of blogging, yes?

So, please take a moment and go look over the blog if you're new here or, if you've read here before and you enjoy it, click over to Aarons CC and vote for The Middle Ground.

Which brings me to my next nomination. I have been nominated for a Weblog Award. I looked at the list of bloggers that have been nominated along with me and I am humbled once again to be in such great company. Nominations close at the end of the week and voting will begin on or after November 26. All things considered, with the company on the list, that I'd even come close to making the top 15 finalists is probably reaching, but I hope that you will do me the distinct honor of voting for me. Or, just as good, nominate one of your favorite blogs in any of the categories. I have been nominated in the "best blog" category. I saw LGF and the Rott on the list, just to name a few. My hope is to be a stealth candidate that everyone sees on the list and says: WTF?

Just a few more thoughts on blogging and the topic I chose. I believe that blogging is very much in the fashion of real democracy where you have competing ideas that previously had very few routes through which they could and would be filtered. Which means that it was controlled and many good ideas never saw the light of day in the public forum or political houses unless you were willing to join some lobbying group or political party, even when their agenda didn't completely match yours, just for the chance that one idea might get a voice and be accepted.

Today, this public forum returns us back, if ever so small, to the days of the Agora, to the public forums of the first democracies, where any citizen could speak his or her mind and the best ideas won out by being the best and by the ability of the speaker to state his or her case, taking the appeal, not to the towers of power, but to the people themselves, reminding them that they are the power that allows the towers to stand. And, where you can write a run on sentence without being heckled from the hallowed halls of public policy by avant academia, elitist politicians or gestapo editors.

For those who have or have not read here before, I came to blogging a year after we invaded Iraq because, like so many others, the voices on the radio, on the cable networks and the words in the papers, just didn't tell me what I needed to know. I needed to know because my brother is in the military and was on stand by so I needed to know where he was going, what he'd be doing and what he was facing. Fortunately, for our family, he didn't go, but I realized many other families were not as lucky. I realized that I had supported the war before and I had to support it then, to make sure that it was done, not just for those families whose sons and daughters have taken up the fight or paid the price, but for the 2987 who died on 9/11, for the 300 million who live in this country and for all those millions more who might look out over the horizon and be reminded that tyranny is not forever. Tyranny is opposed and, if sometimes we are slow and too complacent to always act on that principle, we still hold it, we don't forget them and, someday, tyranny will fall in their land, too.

I started by just commenting at Iraq the Model. It was satisfying to know that there were others out there that believed as I did. It was gratifying to read a comment that said, "good idea", "excellent point", etc. It was exhilerating to argue the point with another who did not agree. I wanted more time and space to put my thoughts together so I started to blog. A year later I realized that it was a truly freeing experience. Somewhere, a mile away or in Africa, India, Iraq, Australia, Russia or some country in South America that few know how to locate on the map, somebody is reading a blog and sharing an idea or two or ten in the speed of light.

I realized that I wanted to join this effort.

After 9/11, I realized that we had become complacent. Not just about terrorism, but about the whole idea of freedom and democracy. It didn't just happen over night. It's been happening for years if not decades, with the sharpest most marked decline actually beginning after the fall of the USSR. It was as if that was the last wall we had to knock down between freedom and tyranny. Because it was so high and so difficult, we couldn't see the other walls after that. Blinded by the sudden sunlight, we couldn't see the obstacles in front of us and we didn't look back to remember the way behind us. We didn't remember that freedom is about constant struggle. We didn't remember that it was never easy. We didn't remember that no tyrannt gives up power because it is the right thing to do.

We didn't remember that there is always some little corporal who thinks that he knows what is best for the world and he will make it happen by building a utopia. They believe utopia can exist if only it has the right people and the right rules to govern it. The utopia invariably begins by first outlawing all the things that people believe are bad or dangerous for utopia. In utopia, things that were once good for a free country like, diversity, free thought, invention and competition, are now bad, because you cannot maintain utopia unless all the people think alike. When free thought raises it's head in utopia, the masters of utopia must stomp it out along with all those who look, think or talk differently than the blue print of utopian humanity.

First, they do it in the dark, in the quiet where no one sees. Then, when no one says anything, when no one stops them, they do it in the light of day. They cull the utopians even more. Because no one stops them from doing it in the light of day, they decide that everyone beyond their utopia is weak so they begin to search out and expand the borders of their utopia, until, one day, the outside world wakes up to find the bloody, evil hell of utopia is on their doorstep.

When I read the words of Qutb, Zawahiri, bin Laden and Zarqawi, when I saw the inside of Saddam's Iraq, and hear the words of Amenejid in Iran, I realize that the world will never be free of little corporals trying to create a shiny illusion of utopia that hides a rotten core. I realize that the free world must be vigilant and must always struggle to stay free; to stand ready to help those that are struggling to be free and to give hope to those who have not yet realized they have the power to throw off their chains.

Maybe that sounds melodramatic. But, I am a student of history and the world has a way of ignoring the little corporals with their nightmarish dreams of utopia until it's too late and the nightmare can only be beaten back at great cost to humanity. So, here I am, blogging, mentally manning the barriers, occasionally handing out my version of the pamphlet, reminding people not to ignore the words of little corporals, the screams in the dark of night or the murders in the light of day.

Thank you and I hope you will vote for me.

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