Things I read in Spain
The essay, which I found here in English, is a response to an essay in the London Review of Books, in which Tony Judt claims that American liberals have "acquiesced in President Bush's catastrophic foreign policy."
The following passages brought applause in my apartment(where, yes, in fact, I was alone):
Reason is indispensable to democratic self-government. This self-evident truth was a fundamental commitment of our Founding Fathers, who believed it was entirely compatible with every American's First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. When debating policy in the public square, our government should base its laws on grounds that can be accepted by people regardless of their religious beliefs.
We insist that America be defended vigorously against its real enemies --the radical Islamists who organize to attack us. But security does not require torture or the rejection of basic guarantees of due process. To the contrary, this administration's lawless conduct and its violations of the Geneva Conventions only damage our moral standing and our ability to combat the appeals of violent ideologues. By defending torture, the Bush administration engages in precisely the kind of ethical relativism that it purports to condemn.
We love this country. But true patriotism does not consist of bravado or calumny. It resides in faithfulness to our great constitutional ideals. We are a republic, not a monarchy. We believe in the rule of law, not secret prisons. We insist on justice for all, not privilege for the few. In repudiating these American ideals, the Bush administration disgraces America and damages our claim to democratic leadership in the larger world.
OK, I am done now. As my corporate boss use to say every time I asked for more than 2 consecutive days off, "You'll do what you think is right." However you vote, please, please - just vote, paisanos!
Labels: an american abroad