Erik Larson

Oct 25, 2009

Joe Bob, Iran, and Dunderheads

You know this raging debate in the States over Iran, I’ve been thinking on it. Conversations more than a few with friends liberal, conservative.

And liberal goes like this: how dare you sir? To suggest that whatever power the First World might have be yielded coercively to attempt to curtail or prevent the development of nuclear weaponry by another nation-state? Iran, for instance, seems docile when compared to no less than the United States: we invaded two Muslim countries in recent history, after all. What has Iran done? You hypocrites!

Yes, feel the injustice. Hear the shrillness. But here’s were we have a nice if unintended result, a rare gem of a result: it seems that the dunderheaded liberals and the dunderheaded conservatives can find common dunder: he who chooses weapons is choosing good! Yes, I know this seems at first blush counter-intuitive, but hear me out. First World Liberals want Iran to decide for itself whether it needs nuclear weapons. Let them have them; we either know that they’ll not use them in Nazi-like fashion (we’re quite good at predicting future conflicts you see, you see not), or we know that if they do decide to use them we’re sitting morally pretty by insisting that we stuck up for the sovereignty of other nations. Either way (sans the WWIII stuff), we’re good. Real choices! Weapons choices! This is the stuff of autonomy, and autonomy is good!

But here’s where things get weird. This let-em-have-weapons-who-are-we-to-say-no idea is pretty comfy with Joe Bob, too, the guy down the street who spits out rage about the U.S. Government, who he views as trying to prevent his own acquisition of deadly force (and how do THEY know how he might someday use his weapons?). But what is Joe Bob saying? What is Iran saying? Here we have a nice, rare meeting of the minds between dunderheaded Liberals and Joe Bob Conservatives, both viciously grumping about the reach of state power into their own or someone else’s affairs. Deadly force? Nuclear force ? Back off! It’s my damn right, and my damn pergogative to have whatever the hell I want, and who are you (Orwellian First World, Orwellian State), to say what or how I might use my deadly force? You over-reaching, power-abusing, beaurocrats! You self-appointed cops of the world!

And so now with the benefit of such wisdom, I see finally that all politics really does come together, and a river runs through it (this last comment means nothing, much like so much poetry, but I like poetry. And guns. And hell, maybe even personal nuclear weapons, though I don’t want to pay for them, or store them. But this is for some other blog). It turns out that this stick-up-for-the-little-guy-to-have-insane-amounts-of-deadly-force idea finds a nice cozy home in liberalism and it seems with the NRA: “Who the hell are THEY? To tell me what I can or can’t have? Or how I’m going to use it?” Right on, Joe Bob. Right on, Liberals. Don’t tell me , you fucking sleezy existing power structure. You’re half the enemy yourself…