Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Where's the focus?

Kevin Moore drops some well-placed comments on Cindy Sheehan's plight, and the media circus that had grown up around her:

the so-called MSM is simply incapable of rendering her questions in a reasonable way, in a coherent way or in any way at all. It only understands the spectacle surrounding her protest and the symbolism it draws on. Because this symbolism depends as much on the emotional resonance of her son's death in the war as on her identity as a grieving mother, it is no surprise that the establishment Right, well practiced at the art of personal destruction, began to immediately attack her "character," that rhetorical device they used to promote their Presidential candidate during the last two elections. Her real concerns—the war, its purpose and its desired end—are completely lost in the screaming match held between media elites. This is a development that plays very well into the hands of Bush's apologists.
In all, I have nothing against Sheehan, and give her great credit for wading into the fray. But the antiwar movement should avoid building her up as a Joan of Arc figure. Playing politics on the personal level may be the best way to pander to today's media and inject one's issue into the mainstream debate, but doing so runs the risk of conceding the ground to the people that only play politics at this level.

The focus should consciously be on the war, not Cindy. We need to remind ourselves and the rest of the country of this.