My high school geometry teacher once told me (paraphrase) “it’s okay to appreciate someone as an artist but not like their personal and political beliefs, etc.”
This kickass advice has helped me while navigating college, grad school, work, and most every aspect of life. I like some things Obama has done; I disapprove of many other things he’s done while president. Hell, I vaguely remember approving of something G.W. Bush did while in office.
No one very few people are that simple and consistent. I’m the first to admit I’m not.
But enough about vague nuances. Let’s now apply this to a very, oh, divisive person.
I have encountered people who believe he’s a hero, with no flaws. In the eyes of some, Assange can do no wrong.
I have also encountered people who think he’s a traitor, he’s terrible, etc.
My own view is that Wikileaks was good. I applaud that.
And . . . that may be all I applaud or approve of regarding Assange’s life and work.
He currently lives in an embassy, avoiding arrest for more than one rape allegation. I understand why someone would hide from facing trial, even if they aren’t guilty, but at the same time, I do find this quite cowardly.
I find it infuriating that Bradley Manning is serving time and Assange isn’t (okay, living in an embassy for days-months-years can’t be fun); I admit to wondering if Assange took advantage of Pfc. Manning’s low self esteem/mental state. Yes, I realize that it’s not that simple, but at the end of the day . . . Assange isn’t in prison, suffering inhumane solitary confinement. Whistleblower Pfc B. Manning has been sentencedis in prison, serving up to 35 years. Laila Lalami observes: “That’s 35 years more than the people who started the Iraq War.” Tim Ireland observes it’s “more than 3 times the maximum sentence faced by anyone involved in Abu Ghraib torture.”
I hadn’t thought of any of Assange for a while, and then I stumbled upon this article: “Julian Assange calls Rand Paul the ‘only hope’ for US politics.” Please do take the time to read it.
Assange also praised Paul and former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul for their principled positions on the libertarianism, non-violence, drone warfare, extrajudicial killings and abortion.
What? I reread the line several times.
Rand Paul and Ron Paul are against abortion. I can disagree with the Paul’s (and the majority of the GOP) on this (and other) issue(s)…but I fail to see how this anti-abortion stance could ever be construed as libertarian. Libertarians believe that government should be kept at a minimum and that government shouldn’t interfere with personal life (and liberty, and freedom.)
Restricting or outlawing abortion does just that, however; it interferes with personal life, liberty, and freedom in a cruel and yes, inhumane, torturous way. The criminalization of abortion is the government telling a set of the population what they can and can’t do with their bodies. It’s the government stepping into a doctor’s office and interfering with what may be the best decision for the individual. The criminalization of abortion takes freedom away from a professional (so much for the free market, Doc) and from the person pregnant.
“We trust you to educate children without any assistance. But we don’t trust you to decide whether you want to have a child.”
That, my friends, is not true libertarianism. I call it “GOP-libertarianism.”
So thanks for Wikileaks.
That’s really the only positive thing I can say about you, Mr. Assange.