Michael Gerson Has a Complete Lack of Self-Awareness

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President Bush launched a war of choice against a country that posed no imminent threat to the United States by misrepresenting intelligence to the American public (or by not vetting intelligence fully enough and not seeking dissenting opinions, if you want to be kinder). That war of choice led to the death of over 4,000 young American men and women and the dismembering and disfiguring of 30,000 more. The number of Iraqis dead counts in the hundreds of thousands, most just civilians. Anti-Americanism has increased dramatically around the world, in both states we count as allies and as enemies, and terrorism has gone up along with it. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, black sites, rendition, waterboarding, and torture exacerbated all of these problems. Americans saw photos of detainees that our soldiers had hooked up to wires or attacked with dogs. President Bush threw fuel on the fire with a bellicosity and an insensitivity that helped turned even his own country against him. “Bring ’em on.” “Now watch this drive.” “Nope, no weapons over there.”

But former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, creator of the phrase “axis of evil,” needs you to understand — incivility is key. Incivility will ruin this country.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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