I guess I should have been more clear, or made this point explicitly. Mass murder and torture are essentially the opposite of civility.

So, if you’re in favor of civility, you should probably be against large-scale atrocities and crimes against humanity (including the atomic bombing that you mentioned, which was the largest single act of terrorism in human history). Sorry if this is redundant, but it seems that much of the general public has, due to the nature of our discourse, miss this crucial point.

You wrote:

“There are people who have very likely been treated with kindness by Mr. Bush, framing their opinion if him.”

This could literally be said about any of history’s greatest monsters. It could easily have been said of Hitler.

If your position is still that as long as mass murderers are seemingly civil in their public life, we should respect them, then hopefully you’ll embrace that and be consistent. This would mean you could not criticize people like Mao, Stalin, Assad, etc. for their alleged crimes, but could only judge them on their character and their public displays of “civility.”

This would also mean you could not find it agreeable when an official adversary of the U.S. (let’s say someone like bin Laden or Hussein) is killed or captured. To do so would either mean you advocate Bush being brought to justice (since his crimes were far worse), or that having double standards is acceptable based on nationalism.

I may be in a unique position to observe this paradox, since I completely reject nationalism and American Exceptionalism, but I hope I’m getting through (at least a little).

But let’s say Bush didn’t slaughter a million people. Then we could have a discussion about civility based on differences in belief (and that would be an entirely different discussion).

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Socialist. Herbivore. Husband. I usually write about politics, current events, and history. My work has also been published by The Hampton Institute.

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